From Terrascope: Getting (for once) deservedly good mainstream press at the moment are The Regular Fries. Comparisons with the Happy Mondays, Primal Scream and Spiritualized abound, but ex-hack Paul Moody intends this to be a "23rd century amalgam of Roxy Music, the Deviants and Soft Machine." Their nearest contemporaries to my mind are Delakota and Arthur. (There are rumoured links with the 'Fries and the Target label that Arthur were on). The Fries sound like Funkadelic would have if they were from a hip, urbane part of London, and their live shows are full-on experiences. Think of the Roundhouse circa 1967. Eye peeling projections, (which they refuse to play without) and a ton of opium incense assault the senses.
After the opening drone of 'Agar,' the funky 'Dust it' starts with bongos then breaks out in rashes of Moog, funky Rhodes and Madchester guitar. Vocals are whispered, and to use a 1989 music press cliche, "blissed out." The Soft Machine comparisons are underlined by the slightly Robert Wyatt-ish accent. Single 'King Kong' starts in on a slowburn with acoustic guitar, piano and the phased keys of 'Ogden's Nut Gone Flake.' Then the weird shit lyrics kick in: "Better be a monkey if you like King Kong, if you can't get it right then you better get it wrong." 'Dream Lottery' starts with the 'Get Carter' theme played backwards on ultra-delayed space guitar, then wanders off into the singers' mumbling medicined head.
"Tonights' numbers are mine", he sings. An elated metaphor for chemical bliss, or just waking up sharply after finding yourself naked, live on the lottery draw? It could be you. 'Welcome to the Brainwash' is a cover of the Twin Peaks' bar band from 'Fire Walk with Me', the sonic equivalent of scraping your nails down a blackboard. There's lots here to satisfy any addled head, musings on postmodern pre-millenial life: "Got my life on remote control," "nothing's ever built to last," "am I a figment of my imagination or am I a part of yours," and enough positive groove to nourish us throughout the summer. After their recent Homelands performance Paul Moody said: "We've come from the stars, but the earth machines couldn't deal with us." Fried, not regular, the signal is accepted.
(Steve Hanson) alie