Pure concentrated slabs of greasy, nutritious wonk. Prescott seem to exist in their own pocket universe devoid of musical genre or context, and they're all the better for that. Keith Moliné's twangy surf-like guitar is a lovely addition, building nicely on the sound established on their debut album. My favourite album of 2017.
Favorite track: Cis 3 Hex.
Prescott is a London based instrumental group, verging on supergroup, featuring Kev Hopper (Stump, Ticklish), Frank Byng (This Is Not This Heat, Snorkel), Keith Moliné (Pere Ubu) and Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti).
Thing Or Two is Prescott’s second album. An orgy of melody. A groove bacchanal. A sonic cocktail party gone strangely but compellingly wrong.
After the 2014 release of their first album, One Did , Prescott acquired a fourth member in Pere Ubu’s Keith Moliné and a newfound affection for twangy guitar tunes. The new record builds on the arty, minimal intensity of their debut with sweeping melodies and extravagant
The startling bass playing of Kev Hopper, the group’s founder, is
sprinkled with unexpected pops, slides and trills, a series of musical question marks and raised eyebrows. Frank Byng’s precision
drumming is pared down and funky one moment, wildly uninhibited the next, all interweaving with Rhodri Marsden’s broad palette of organs, percussive samples and stabbing synths. Keith Moliné brings improvisatory skills acquired over two decades working with Pere Ubu’s David Thomas, along with the tranquil Hank Marvinesque twang that characterises much of the record.
Five Thing , a live favourite, is a foxtrot for anyone who happens to have an extra leg. Oh Stemona incorporates Sue Lynch ’s flute and sax in a song of praise to a perfume ingredient. Seven Leggings is as near as Prescott get to verses and choruses, with a humalong tune and a jubilant fadeout. Rubberised is an extraordinary musical jigsaw puzzle, culminating in squeals of frustration from sound artist Iris Garrelfs as she fails to solve it.
Thing Or Two : exuberant and complex, euphoric and bewildering, joyous and ambitious.
“Prescott are a unique and mischievous proposition” – The List
“Endlessly inventive backdrops which owe a fair amount to both Beefheart and The Residents at their most wickedly playful” – Prog
“Part particle accelerator, part mutant squash court… a postpunk
upending of 1980s jazzfusion, creating something pretty serious out of a very English irreverence and inquisitiveness” – Misfit City
“A dishevelled Heath Robinson contraption of small moving parts, Prescott make music as hilarious as it is infuriating” – The Wire
“As perplexing as their namesake, Prescott demonstrate the forgotten art of the confounded, the contrary and the confused, with compelling results” – Flipside
Wikipedia says that "the band have displayed a reluctance to be associated directly with progressive rock", and I fully understand this attitude, regarding the sheer amount of pseudo-progressive garbage continuously dumped into the prog market. On the other hand, it's hard to imagine anything more progressive than this music. Maybe the term "art rock" fits somewhat better, although it has become quite overloaded over time. The Larcombe brothers present us on this album with vocals and arrangements faintly reminiscent of early "Gentle Giant", while the most notable musical influence clearly stems from the band "Cardiacs" - well, not a big surprise, with Tim Smith on the producer seat... Sven B. Schreiber