Saturday 20 April 2013


I'll tell you what's hard to google and get what you're looking for: About Group.

Why did nobody tell me that Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip had lent his vocals to a crazy jam-jazz-prog-rock-jam-jam-improv band? I'm just listening to 'Walk On By' by About Group for, oh I don't know, the fifth time consecutive time in a row and wondering the former whilst pondering also what to say about it. Other than, "It comes from their third (yes THIRD) album Between The Walls set for release July 1st on Domino," and, "You can download this for free yo," I'm not sure.

Well... I love the mood of the intro, well and the whole song actually, but the intro is where all the attitude is initially compacted and thrown at you and sounds like a drunken smelly old bar somewhere that has grown legs, donned a pair of sunglasses and begun strutting around. Well, perhaps it's less of a strutting sound here and more of a swagger. That's it compleeetely, a swaggering sashaying slow-motion boogie. Whatever that zany backwards sounding sound is (I have no clue) ... harmonica? Wow. That's all about that part. Then there's the warbling organ keeping it real in every break in the more overpowering sounds, the epitome of old school cool.

There's one thing it does remind me of, and that's good old fashioned PROG RRRRROCK! Nothing wrong with that because I am actually quite a fan. It's the middle of the song where it seems to fly somewhere else where it particularly reminds me of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Pictures at an Exhibition. The real jam out happens towards the end where the cacophony of sounds is enough for someone who likes this high falootin' kind of musical madness to make them completely zone out with pleasure.

AND let us not forget: this is a cover of 'Walk On By'. My my does Alexis's voice do it justice, so fragile sounding against the magical melodies and other ditties of the music.

I have no words left I'm really sorry this is the worst post I've ever written. I got distracted by the song (good thing).

In all seriousness, this just goes to show that concepts such as 'the band' or 'jamming' are not totally dead nor forgotten. Far from it. Where you have good musicians who also love music, such as all four of About Group, you are bound to get some experimentation in sound and also bound to enjoy what you are playing. And what this song does: blurs the line between produced song and live jam (shown in the difference between the beginning and the rest of the song, for example), planned ideas and spontaneous fun, something solid and something you'll only hear once.

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Check About Group's not-very-updated blog

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