"The King of No-Fi," the second solo album from Merseyside's Brian Bordello, is now available as a digital release from Metal Postcard Records. 14 tracks of just Brian and his acoustic, recorded at home over furlough during quarantine in an "automatic" style (see the last CNQ post for an interview with Brian for more on that).
Both guitar work and vocal delivery combine for some of the best melodies I've heard from Brian, be it solo or his work with The Bordellos, and the album as a whole is a singular, stunningly ethereal work.
As Brian touched upon in our interview, there's not as much amusingly caustic cynicism in the lyrics as in previous releases. There are still many touches of his dry wit slash wry humor (the track "Motherfucker" comes to mind, and the lyric off "Rock and Roll is Dead" -- "The air is full of everybody's sneezes/and I don't care if I catch the diseases/Rock'n'Roll is dead"), but for the majority of the record there is a tender, nostalgic theme that connects each song to the other. At various points it is simply heartbreaking in its honesty and emotional directness ("Lone Piper," "In My Dreams," "God Bless You Jesus," "So Sad"), and with each song Brian manages to make you feel like you're sitting in the room with him as he's recording. And maybe he's even glad you're there, despite lines like "not being deceictful/but I don't like many people," from the track "So Sad." He's not going to give up being wryly caustic all at once.
Brian is always a formidable underground talent, and this album cements his position as "King of No-Fi." I've been waiting for "King of No-Fi" since it was announced earlier in the year -- is it possible I wasn't going to enjoy it? Odds were low I wasn't going to at least get a kick out of it, but I sure didn't know it would exceed all my expectations, and be an automatic contender for album of the year.
These next two releases I discoverd recently, and were released earlier in the year. YUVEES are from Portland and their album "Human Dance," released back in May, can be ordered on cassette or downloaded digitally. LIIEK is from Berlin, and their self-titled album was released in April. It can be dl'd digitally or ordered on vinyl from adagio830.
Both albums are instantly recognizable post-punk in their separate ways, each still sounding fresh enough to not feel like tired, boring rip-offs of the bands who pioneered their respective sounds. I fell in love with both these albums on first listen - maybe you will too: