Larsen B - Musketeer
Musketeer is the debut album from Larsen B a trio of friends from Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire. I verge on providing you the sat-nav details to their homes purely because it will be instructive to note that Larsen B insist on referring to the place as ‘Watamestede’ as this is how it was recorded in the Domesday book. What we’re dealing with here is an impossibly eclectic, yet thoroughly English, album which, broadly reminiscent of The Kinks Village Green Preservation Society, is more 1966 then 1086. Like British Sea Power, who curiously have a song called ‘Larsen B’, the Watamestede collective are masters of encasing themselves in a cocoon of pastoral past times, a dedication to scene setting which is even reflected in the quaint Victoriana of the packaging. Essentially Larsen B are a quintessential English pop band in the mold of XTC and so, have no fear, there’s nothing too challenging on offer here. ‘Drown By The Sea’ could be vintage ELO while the double header of ‘Magnify’ and ‘Stitch’ draw deep from the Britpop well and conjure up images of the La’s and Roses respectively. Musketeer comes closest to releasing its inner Incredible String Band with the barmy six fingered folk of ‘Kindling’ but there’s too much love for pop purity to allow proceedings to become overly odd. Highly recommended.