The Forest - Alone In Music
The one-man band. A phrase guaranteed to send a chill down the spine of most reviewers. Armed with a guitar, a primitive drum machine and a notebook of 'amusing' lyrics, they spew forth, determined that the world will give them at least a few moments of attention.
The Forest is the work of one Jonah Stevenson and Alone In Music bears all the hallmarks of the bedroom musician, slightly bitter at the fact that they don't have a band. It's all here: the album title; the misanthropic name of his record label; the song titles - although Stevenson is acutely aware of the aware of his place in the scheme of things:
If no-one's listening when you put an album out
And is it worth doing if no-one really cares?
Well the forest doesn't know who's listening
But it carries on unawares.
Musically this is pretty basic stuff and combined with the lyrics and somewhat ranty delivery, brings to mind John Peel favourites I, Ludicrous. Some of the tracks are not without amusement ("I exposed my last crime to a passerby / But he just called the police and said it was black guy" - 'Uncredited Serial Killer Blues') and "Rock and Roll Canal Boat" has a pretty serious sounding descending riff that suggests there could be better things to come if the opportunity arose. "I'm Not Van Gogh" is part-Mark E. Smith, part Paul Merton is another track worthy of a download.
You imagine the real hindrance for Stevenson is a paucity of like-minded souls in Aberystwyth with whom he could share his somewhat skewed vision. That's a shame, because a Welsh Bonzo's might not be a bad idea at all.
The Forest on MySpace