Review: Take A Worm For A Walk Week – ‘TAWFAWW’ (It’s A Stiff)

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Glasgow, Reviews
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Gone are the short, sharp shocks and brutal sensory assaults of their two previous records.  In their place is something a little more refined, and a great deal more enterprising.  It’s always a joy to see a band that you’ve been with from the start progress their sound in this manner and Take A Worm For A Walk Week have hit musical pay dirt on ‘TAWFAAW’, revealing a band that’s become more musically intelligent and imaginative.

At just 25 minutes long, this is hardly what you would call an LP, but still it’s more than double the length of some of their previous recordings.  The Glaswegian quartet career through the songs effortlessly here, retaining all of their nervous, chaotic energy while adding new and compelling twists along the way.  There’s a bundle of brass instrumentation, for example, strewn across a number of tracks.  There’s also some brilliant horror B-movie synths that adds toe-tapping tension, see ‘So Alive’ and ‘No Right’ in particular.  They even attempt a chorus or two.

Lyrics are kind of indecipherable in a maniacal sort of manner.  If frontman Joe Quimby isn’t screaming, yelping, shrieking, gasping, cackling or howling, then he’s delivering quick-witted lines in a thick Scottish brogue like a cross between David Yow and Alex Harvey.   The sort of accent that has hardly done the likes of The Twilight Sad any harm at all.  A totally captivating performance.

Emma Pollock (of Delgados fame) adds haunting vocals on the creeping ‘Coach Perry’ to form an album highlight, while the downright funky ‘So Low’ is also a feature track, showing this outfit can slow things down without losing any of their acerbic impact.  Opening number ‘These Luscious Things’ is another favourite, inventively combining thundering bass with abrasive guitar, with brass adding the flourish, the pummeling and mischievously-named ‘Shagadugaday’, meanwhile, is destined to be a live favourite with its rapid-fire precision.  Likewise  ‘Like My Pacifier’ delights with its machine-gun like delivery, deranged lyrics and battering horn section, like Rocket From The Crypt on a week-long bender with Shellac.

The fact that each of the ten tracks has something new to offer is the true story of this record.  While Take A Worm’s idea of accessible music is enough to make the more casual listener cower behind the sofa, after all this record is anything other than conventional, there’s much going on here to suggest that this lot may just have opened plenty of doors for themselves.  More to the point, for those who crave a sound that’s fresh, exciting and totally original, ‘TAWFAWW’ is, without a doubt, the album for you.


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