Music Review//The Cubical - Arise Conglomerate

The rumours we heard in late 2011 of a third album from Liverpool's distinctive Garage Blues band The Cubical being recorded in Berlin have turned out to true. And in testament to the veracity of that we recently received a shiny disc of said sessions for review.

Arise Conglomerate, the albums not inconsiderable title, is the usual acerbic slice of political commentary but what of the music? Setting aside the considered diversity of the bands second (excellent) album It Ain't Human, this is an album that basks in the camp fire bliss of Dan Wilson's distinctive tones yet never quite let's up in it's quest to be rough and ready. And, considering that the record as recorded in almost one taken with the product of the sessions presented warts and all, it's an exciting prospect.

the warm welcome of On The Weekend is a bluesy paean to the rock and roll flow of a weekend trip and the albums first single. It's followed on album by the more contemplative Daily Grind, easily showcasing Wilson's rough hewn vox and excellent guitar licks. It's easy to understand the comparisons to Nice Cave et al on the sonic level but whilst the dark one invites murder and depression, The Cubical are coming from a place of wry observation and social commentary wrapped in the all enveloping fleece of personal experience. 

The whole album is an experience in itself, from the inviting chords of this albums It Ain't Human, with the pointed lyrics a highlight, to the slower melancholy of Prisoner of Our Love, it's not a listen to take laying down. Indeed, with guitar parts like those on Old Idiot or Moron Culture you'll find vertical positions hard to maintain as the music makes you sit up and take notice. The Bluesy swagger of Loved But One Woman is one such moment and the harmonica just adds a bite to an already strong connection. 

Of course special mention should go to the albums art work by Liverpool artist John O'Neill, who also created the previous two albums sleeves as well. Not only adding to the albums greatness, they give a genuine reason to love the physical format even more.

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

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