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Wednesday 27 March 2024

Picturebox - Mobile Disco

The return of Picturebox for their first album in over five years is a reason to rejoice. The quartet are from Canterbury, so you would expect something Psych Pop or UK Beat and there is plenty of such here, but there is much more to them than that.

There is a real Street Pop vibe to what they do. Songs are about the everyday banality of neighbour hood life, past and present, almost like Half Man Half Biscuit in subject matter but accompanied by catchier arrangements than altogether now Folkish chorus singalongs.

Just listen to Office Of Compline and Lennie Godber and you realise that they come across as lost Brit Pop gems. Things wouldn't be the same without some Toytown and Nice Boys Mobile Disco (Versification) does that well.

Brightest & Best is pure early Syd Barrett and you can imagine Jarvis Cocker regaling Addendum, The Car Of A Man That Drives Alone reveals an inner Ray Davies and underlines how off beat the subject matter. It is wonderfully melodic, yet also melancholic.

(The World Of) Autumn Feelings should have been something on Blur's Modern Life Is Rubbish, whilst Utility Contractors is prime time Difford Vocal Squeeze set to a New Wave Beat that threatens to go Glam Rock.

There are also short vignettes reveal the off kilter of the band such as Quickfire Les and the short spoken world tale that is The Story Of The Biscuit Man. Mobile Disco is an album that appears simple on the face of it, but it has tons of ideas and a lyrical adeptness that you can admire and be bemused at simultaneously. An incredible listen. An absolute delight.

You can listen to and buy the album here.  It is available on CD or as a download.


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