Euros Childs - Son Of Euro Child
Son Of Euro Child is the fifth solo album in less than four years from former Gorky's Zygotic Mynci frontman Euros Childs. It's also the first album to be released as a free download via his website, with a physical release available at dates on the current UK tour.
For anyone already familiar with Euros' particular take on pop music - imagine Kevin Ayers meets the Beach Boys, given carte-blanche in a room full of analogue synths and throwing in as much Welsh folk, Americana, English prog rock and playschool nursery rhymes as he might fancy along the way - then there's nothing on Son Of Euro Child which will come as any surprise. For everyone else it might be a little more disconcerting and a tad harder to get to grips with!
But for those newcomers, there's enough here to highlight the talent of the Carmarthenshire singer-songwriter: Baby Joy is as pure an example of old-school psychedelia as you're likely to hear released this year, and Carrboro comes on like classic Emperor Tomato Ketchup-era Stereolab, with its wonderfully hypnotic keyboards and subtle but insistent percussion. Gently All Around is a pleasant ballad with a tendency to lapse into something altogether more satisfyingly sinister.
But it's the album's brief opening motif Shithausen and its closing bedfellow Son Of Shithausen that come closest to the tantalising mischievousness of Childs' wonderful former consorts Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, although disappointingly never taking proceedings to the same elevated level of consciousness that seemed to be par for the course for that band at their peak.
Son Of Euro Child has its moments but suffers from being one of those albums which was doubtlessly enormous fun to write and record, but which isn't quite so enjoyable to sit back and listen to. There's no doubting Euros' talent and the ease with which he can throw off a tune. Not content to sit on his laurels for even a minute, he's off again on a completely new venture in October, playing with luminaries including Norman Blake, Nuala Kennedy and Caoimihin o Raghallaigh on a tour of Ireland.
Son Of Euro Child isn't Euros' finest moment... but on this evidence, that might still be to come.