Lester Square: Invisible Man – album reviewLester Square: Invisible Man (Bandcamp)

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Released: 1st February 2022


Lester leaps in with sci-fi and horror-themed new album.

Lester Square, founder member of Adam and The Ants and The Monochrome Set, and the man who has influenced as many guitarists from the ’80s as Link Wray did in the ’50s, has been busy during the days of plague, digitally releasing a number of albums that showcase his idiosyncratic guitar playing. And the fact that his music is being released digitally only is an important point. Lester is an activist for Extinction Rebellion and Music Declares Emergency, and he has taken the decision, for environmental reasons, not to physically release any music.

Invisible Man, with its artwork a cross between a Hitchcock movie and Big Brother, pays homage to ’50s and ’60s sci-fi and horror series and movies, and features Lester’s trademark guitar backed up with soundbites from the classic shows. It’s interesting to note that many horror and sci-fi shows from that period reference the fear of science running amok and what that would mean for humanity and the planet. Fast forward to the present and we sit on the edge of environmental disaster of our own making that may see humankind wiped out.

Opener, Whom The Gods Destroy, has a bubbling beat, a clean ’50s guitar sound and an exotic undercurrent. Disco Bizarro is noirish horror with guitar lines slashing like razor cuts through a shower curtain. There is the Asian themed Shinjuku, with its vibrato and backwards guitar and a hint of a theme tune for a Gerry Anderson show. Trudi French (Slight Return) is more laid back with a Eurocentric vibe that is reminiscent of The Stranglers’ ’80s output. Named after a Flash Gordon episode where the titular hero becomes invisible, The Claws Of Tigron is interstellar travel with guitar, and Destination Space has a triumphal fanfare opening as the guitar blasts us off into the unknown reaches of the universe. There’s some great intricate guitar work on show here. Time Tunnel references another ’60s sci-fi show, and has a more melancholic, almost medieval, sounding opening, with an ominous bass and a heavy beat; the sound swirls round like a vertiginous tunnel. Lester rocks out in Monochrome Set vibe on Leaf, which then transcends into a psychedelic Indian groove. Album closer, COP26, is awash with the soundbites of imminent disaster as the world’s leaders gathered at Glasgow to do very little. There is a tension and urgency in the sound.

It’s an album that you can lose yourself in, lost in space and time, lost in the grooves, but with a wake up call at the end.


Lester Square can be found on Bandcamp, Facebook and Twitter.

Extinction Rebellion can be found here.

Music Declares Emergency can be found here.

All words by Mark Ray. More writing by Mark Ray can be found at his author archive. And he can be found on Twitter and WordPress

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