Originally published: Virgin Music
Archie Bronson Outfit have always had a bad case of the blues despite their critical acclaim. Their debut, 2004’s ‘Fur’ (as produced by Jamie Hince of The Kills and Kate Moss fame), and 2006’s follow-up ‘Derang Derang’ garnered tremendous support from the press for bottling the fumes of a garage band intoxicated with the rambling sounds of MC5-era wig-outs and scuzzy blues; but few would have predicted the heaviness in sound and soul that they would bring with ‘Coconut’.
From the first eight bars of psychedelically resonating guitar that pulsates at the fleshy underbelly of the album’s opening track “Magnetic Warrior”, Archie Bronson Outfit’s first album after a four year hiatus has something of an experimentally lysergic gaze to it. As the rhythm sections drops and drones with a tribal urgency, Sam Windett rambles, “And it’s just a chink of light/Don’t let yourself fall apart” between warped guitar licks and fuzzy howls akin to the likes of the Wooden Shjips.
‘Coconut’ is not representative of what we have come to expect of Archie Bronson in any weight, shape or form. Much of this is due to DFA producer Tim Goldsworthy who has cut, pasted and crafted their curious pallet of kaleidoscopic sound throughout the album. In a similar way that Geoff Barrows aided The Horrors’ comeback with ‘Primary Colours’, ‘Coconut’ as a similarly industrious veneer about it.
From the dark disco beats of the New Order-inspired “Shark’s Tooth” and “Hoola”, to the Talking Heads space funk of “Chunk”, the London-based three-piece rarely falter across the album when retrospectively augmenting their sound. But it’s what they offer in fresh endeavours that surprise and treat the most: the sonic dirges of “Your Have A Right To a Mountain Life / One Up On Yourself”; the Krautrock swing and harmony of “Bite It and Believe It”; and the passive aggressive playfulness of “Hunt You Down”’s undertones all add to what is a long-awaited and wonderful return to praise.