The Victorian English Gentlemens Club – ‘Love On An Oil Rig’ – Album Review

Heralding from a long line of British bands born from an Art School tradition of creative invention and freethinking, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club created quite a stir with their eponymous debut album. What their opus lack in musicality, structure and form, they made up with their youthful zeal, virility and pop-obscurity; it wasn’t so much as case of thinking outside of the box, as cramming it rambunctiously with instrumental anxiety and agitating it until things fell into some kind of semblance.

From the 47-second opener of ‘Love On An Oil Rig’’s stop-start clattering drums, to the Fall-esque bass-laden single ‘Parrot’, TVEGC draw heavily upon post-punk revolutionaries of the Eighties, when the likes of Rough Trade records were at their best, expanding minds and breaking convention. ‘Watching The Burglars’ shifts with the propensity towards Young Marble Giants; ‘Bored In Belgium’ bounces harmonically in the direction of The Slits; and ‘Periscope Envy’ colours the white noise of Sonic Youth and bastardises the defunct rhythms of Wire.

They still have a way to go though, and often as not, their artistic discordance can leave ‘Love On An Oil Rig’ a rather laborious listen of swirling, directionless nonsense as they haphazardly thumb their way through the likes of ‘Worker’; but at their best they are a post-modern virtue to those who can forgive them for their lack of a possessive apostrophe.

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