‘Hard to categorise’ instrumental set from Keith M Thomson hits several sweet spots.
Release Date: 17th November 2023
Label: Super8Sync Recordings – Bandcamp
The new release from the frontman of The Penny Black Remedy. One that despite the hard-to-pigeonhole nature (and frankly who wants to be pigeonholed?) suggests we “think 90s period Bowie and latter day Gary Numan,” and we should be in the ballpark-ish. Sounds a pretty good shoe-in to be fair as Keith gets to grips with a series of what he calls “mini soundtracks.“
Analogue synths and beats join the more familiar Thomson MO of twang-some reverbed guitars in a unique Marvin meets Morricone mash-up or consideration for some Gerry Anderson incidental music. Some bizarre experimentation with guitar Noir-ness comes on The Fate Of Glass whilst the image of Thomson playing over a Kraftwerk backing track is hard to shift on Death Blossom.
A simple sequence of beats eases us into the creepy and cinematic Get Carter-esque The Red Shift ye it’s Flaw In The Machinery is where you might find the closest link to some of the brooding industrial sounds on modern-day Numan. The expected explosions and crescendoes threaten but remain in wait.
Mention of Bowie, inevitably flags up his Berlin experiment in Binary Digression and the atmospheric closing piece Submerging. We revisit Eighties synth-pop In Digital Dreams – Thomson goes all Erasure/Vince Clark like he just can’t get enough while Electronux could similarly take its place on the dance floor. The constant is that Sublingual never ventures too far from some quivering guitar figures with the tremolo arm working overtime.
Although not written as such, Keith feels this release is the natural sequel (or maybe even a companion piece) to previous solo album, last year’s Give The Void Its Colours. “Listened to back to back, there is a definite cohesion -to my ears,” he adds. Maybe time to do some backfilling and see what we’ve been missing..
Pre-order the album on Bandcamp here
Here’s First We Ignite: