Label: Full Time Hobby Release date: 25/01/10 Erland And The Carnivalare the much-lauded musical guise of Orcadian front man Erland Cooper, occasional McCartney drummer David Nock and perennial collaborator ex Verve/The Good The Bad and The Queen guitarist Simon Tong. With their impressive musical CVs combined, it comes as no surprise that the self titled debut album from the trio grabs you instantly by the ears and takes you on an energetic, eclectic and psychedelic trip through a musical landscape owing greatly to their folk and 60’s garage rock heroes. With touches of Scott Walker, The Animals, The Divine Comedy, The Doors and a rousing version of Jackson C Frank’s ‘My Name Is Carnival’, ‘Erland and The Carnival’ is a complex album bursting with quirky hooks, sometimes unsettling, undeniably carnivalistic (if indeed such a word exists), definitely impressive. Hailing from Orkney, the enigmatic Erland Cooper draws on his Scottish folk heritage for this album, plus the remoteness of his island upbringing lends a certain mysterious loneliness to the mix. It is a fascinating, cacophonous piece of work with wonderful album opener ‘Love is a Killing Thing’ starting as a whisper and building to a raucous, uplifting conclusion. ‘Trouble in Mind’ is a catchy, hook-laden apology to a lost love with clap laden ‘Was You Ever See’ skipping gleefully along to Ray Manzarek-esque keyboards. ‘One Morning Fair’ wouldn’t sound out of place coming out of the mouth of Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. As the album progresses, however, it becomes slightly too derivative in places, and perhaps a little too irksome at times, but it still stands up as a unified and impressive musical journey through the past 40 years of folk and pastoral psychedelia. The Coral should listen and weep. Rating: 8/10