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Supine is sublime

By toe-tapping hack Ignatius Rake

Posted June 14, 2012
Stumble, Mumble... Talk: Download it now. © Half Eaten Records

Good news for music lovers: Half Eaten has just re-issued Supine Orchestra's debut album. And jolly nice it is too.

If, like this particular hack, you were raised on a diet of Zappa, the Dead Kennedys and the Wolfgang Press, you might not necessarily be drawn to two chaps on acoustic guitars employing such outlandish concepts as 'melody' and 'harmony'.

However, Coventry-based "folk/country/pop duo" Supine Orchestra are well worth a listen, especially as their debut album Stumble, Mumble... Talk has just been re-issued by everyone's favourite indie label Half Eaten Records.

That's right, you can now download the Supine's first album here without having to pay so much as a bean, let alone a penny.

And what's more, you're in for a right treat if you do.

Originally released back in 2008, this 11-track album is the perfect antidote to the mindless blather of one-eyed pop sludge sullying today's airwaves.

But just because they've got acoustic guitars don't go thinking the Supines are a pair of New Age hippies living in a tent.

Despite the fairly down-tempo nature of much of the album, not to mention the aforementioned use of harmony and melody, the Supines maintain a suitable degree of edge, primarily through the use of intelligent lyrics.

Rather than singing "oooh oooh yeah I love you in a very soppy and sissy way" over and over again or spouting out mournfully introspective stuff about how the only girl they loved left them because they kept singing mournfully introspective stuff about how the only girl they loved left them, this duo of Rich Sykes and Joel Kendrick (I haven't a clue which one's which but the main singer's got an excellent voice) pen some right gems.

Indeed, while they certainly don't come across as trying to ape the truly wonderful Half Man Half Biscuit, the quality of the Supine's often cutting and witty lyrics nevertheless puts them in the same camp.

The second track Mrs Clytheroe, for instance, has the lovely line: "His love was like a cattle grid but rougher and much shorter".

Meanwhile, the very last track Morphine, without being morbid or sounding like some 17-year-old Smiths fan w--king into a bin, offers the listener a highly commendable approach to death, viz don't be all mournful but "drink to my passing tonight".

That's not to say, though, that their best lyrics somehow only occur at the front and back ends of the album.

Take, for example, the excellently entitled My Favourite Rock'n'Roll Death.

As well as more great lyrics, including a catchy chorus ripe for repeating down the pub, this track is underpinned by lecky guitar licks that give the song a raw, driving quality befitting its self-destructive theme.

Or something.

Other nice bits of instrumentation include a banjo twang on the country-inspired August 31 and plenty of other stuff to boot.

But as my word count's nearly up you'll bally well have to download the album yourself to find out more.

Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

And if not, you'll just have to get on the blower and demand your money back.

According to the band's website, the Supines will be playing upcoming gigs at the Folk on the Water Festival (June 27); the Clarendon, Leamington Spa (August 5); and a Hospice Charity Night in Birmingham (September 29). If you're in the area, you'd be well advised to go along and check them out.

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