8 / 10
Welsh singer and musician, Pulco, releases his new EP. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pulco then it’s really time to get acquainted. Ash Cooke’s solo project for the last ten years is one of lo-fi, D.I.Y., poetry, songs and general noise.
With a punk-like attitude of recording when he has something to say, Cooke has developed a huge respect amongst fellow musicians including Johnno Casson and Nat Lyon who have often collaborated with or covered his work.
The new EP was apparently unintentional with Cooke messing around with a slightly fuzzed-out sound during which four songs came to life and the Rodeo EP was born. Opener, the brilliantly titled Last Welsh Girl AT The Rodeo, is a pseudo country skiffle affair and features storyteller lyrics against a simple but effective backing.
Slow Trem is unsurprisingly built around Cooke’s Telecaster and a simple bassline. Vocals make way for a spoken word sound byte discussing the choice of language for Canada. Slightly bizarre, but such is the world of Pulco. The plodding bass underpins an easy listen and cute track.
Bakesale is a tribute to the Sebadoh album of the same name released in 1994 where Cooke recounts Derrero supporting the band on their UK tour and sharing after-show pleasantries. It’s spoken word in a treated voice and the catchy ‘chorus’ declares his love for Sebadoh with a country punk backing.
Closing the EP is Digits, a madcap affair which could also be the bastard child of Devo and Johnny & The Hurricanes. A frenetic drum pattern with nonsense sounds, harmonies and semi-shouted vocals makes for a slightly mad end.
Pulco deserves more recognition. Fact. His no-nonsense, do-it-my-way approach is nothing short of admirable, and if you haven’t previously enjoyed his vast work (now amassed to ten albums) then, like this writer, it’s time you sat up and paid attention.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.