The Swansea Recreation Centre is a new band from London and Etienne Brule: Hero To The Max is their debut album. Lead track Earthly Hands is a wistful noodle, accompanying some warbled jazz singing. It’s hardly there, but weirdly affecting. Turns out the vocals aren’t a one off, as they continue their foray into outsider music on Thanks For The Guitar, with something that sounds like a offcut from Songs In The Key Of Z, with Joe Meek dozing off on the mixing desk. Passionada, Passionada, We Shall Build A Great Armada is a French nursery rhyme melody, topped off by mumbly vocals to make a sweet little autumn evoking tune. Snail Steppin’ is quite a jaunty thing, propelled by what sounds like a toy banjo. It’s let down a lot by the irritating vocals, which sound like a nerdy smurf, and the computer game noises that smother the tune at points. What Masculinity! descends rapidly into a horrid dirge but Herman The Hitman Hesse is better, featuring some good gentle female vocals, and a burbling, meandering tune that somehow does the trick. Patty Lewis at IBM is like a cheerier Magnetic Fields and the album finishes with seven minutes of meandering title track, like wailing ghosts in the dark. Weird stuff indeed. Sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful, but always intriguing.
Etienne Brule: Hero To The Max is self released and out now.
The band's myspace us here