Having finished my review of the Moth & The Mirror album I realized that I had yet to review what is, in my eyes, a more important record. One of the contributors to the Moth & The Mirror project is Louis Abbot, who's day job is fronting the decidedly excellent Admiral Fallow, who's debut album Boots Met My Face was re-released earlier this year.
Originally recorded way back in 2009 and released in 2010, the record managed to completely pass me by until the re-release on Lo-Five Records this March. What gripped me initially was the sound of this record, which sounds like a silly thing to say when talking about music - of course it's the sound we're concerned with! - so perhaps I would do better to say the texture, the colour, the aesthetic grabbed my attention.
As any regular reader of these pages will attest, while I claim to be of catholic tastes there are most definitely some instrumental combinations that are almost guaranteed to pique my interest. Acoustic guitars backed up by sharp, treble-y drums fall slap bang in the middle of that zone, and there's plenty of that on Boots Met My Face. Add some non-rock instruments (in this instance it's flutes and clarinets) and, lately, a Scots accent into the mix and you're laughing all the way to the bank - regardless of the quality of the songs themselves.
Thankfully the songs on this record live up to the standards of the aesthetic; Abbot has a good turn of phrase on him, as well as an eye for scansion that's proving surprisingly rare of late. It's not a uniformly good record - here and there one stumbles upon a jarring texture or a melody that's a little too repetitive and dirge-like - but despite it's flaws, this feels like 'a record of note'. A complaint I leveled at Abbot's side-project, The Moth & The Mirror, was that their music lacked the little spark of inspiration necessary to make it an important record. As far as mood and texture and aesthetic are concerned there's not much to separate Admiral Fallow from The Moth & The Mirror (except, perhaps, a braver touch when it comes to electric guitars in the latter), but I can see Boots Met My Face being a record that I still listening to occasionally for a good long while to come.
Despite being nearly two years old now, this album sounds fresh and current to my ears, and the news that Admiral Fallow are already hard at work on their follow-up fills me with hope for the musical prospects of 2012.