Sarandon release brilliant new album- review

Sarandon
”˜The Age Of Reason’
SLUMBERLAND (USA) / ODDBOX (UK)
CATALOGUE NUMBER: SLR181 / BOX005
FORMATS: CD, COLOURED VINYL, DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

The last of the Death To Trad Rock bands, Sarandon are the survivors of the discordant mid eighties UK scene that stretched post punk out to its logical conclusion.

Sarandon 'Age Of Reason'

Sarandon 'Age Of Reason'

A logical conclusion that sees this release being both about Big Trev ”˜a man frustrated by his lot’. It’s a bit like the Kinks but with guitars played like machine guns- or a Play For Today with a brilliant soundtrack with the shrapnel guitars defeating the rain of the everyday.

Big Trev maybe frustrated by his dour lot but Sarandon are anything but dour and their incendiary album is a quite brilliant piece of stripped down high IQ intelligence that is what pop music or at least alternative music should really sound like.

You want that shrapnel guitar, twanging bass and fractured drum beats with obtuse lyrics that combine surrealism with social commentary then you got them all here. Featuring Alan Brown from Big Flame on bass – the band even have one of the key players in the original scene in their line up.
They also have the Shend from the Cravats (Other guests on the album include Robert Lloyd (The Nightingales) and Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti) reading out a world weary story of modern life between the tracks in his best John Peel voice. It makes the whole experience uncannily like listening to the much missed Peel show in the late eighties- those sonorous tones somehow fitting perfectly with the high octane treble overload of the music.

Produced by Collapsed Lung’s Anthony Chapman (busy knob fiddler on top form here who has also worked with Collapsed Lung, Bis, Klaxxons, Ten Benson)

Like many of the later bands on the Death To Trad Rock frontline Sarandon have polished the form taking it to a jazzcore peak- dissonance and frantic energy combine in away that Badgwearer or Dawson were playing with in the great Glasgow scene that book ended the initial pre C86 explosion of pop noise war in the late eighties.

There are time changes and obtuse riffs that would make Captain Beefheart, circa ”˜Lick My Decals’ album glow with an insane pride and the same sort of clattering rhythm section that was a hallmark of the scene of bands like the great Bogshed.

As one of the founding fathers of this high octane., life affirming racket when I was in the Membranes it makes me glow with a strange pride that the music is in such good hands in the 21st century. Sarandon are more than lonely flag bearers of the form, they have reinvented it for new century and this album is a fantastic reminder of the potent power of this kind of music that had oddly not dated atall.

Fuck me there are even some moments of pure pop on here with ”˜Piglet’ that I demand they release as a single because it may just sneak in under the closed world of alternative radio and get itself some much deserved play.

Anyone who ever fell in love with the vicious high treble dream then I urge you to investigate Sarandon. Now.

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