Pea Sea Re-mixing Up the Cordite

July 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Albums, Music | Leave a comment
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Chris Rollen of Les Cox Sportifs infamy goes by Pea Sea when he hangs out with the Brewis Brothers. He has apparently been hanging out with them quite a bit because there is a Pea Sea album called The Debatable Land that Rollen recorded with Field Music as his backing band.

It features a couple of Les Cox stand-out  songs Dead Beat Formula and Mixing Up the Cordite re-recorded by Pea Sea. It’s nice to hear different less bombastic versions of those songs, but the new songs are really the meat in this pea soup. Rollen was influenced by Silver Jews and Smog. Unlike David Berman and Bill Callahan Rollen’s voice is not a baritone or a monotone, but he can write a lyric that will stop you in your tracks. I still am partial to “I’m gonna turn to jazz and turn into my dad” from Dead Beat Formula, but he gives Berman a run for his money in Pinocchio Nose a story song about the dangers of smoking (The dangers aren’t what you think). He also can do pretty quite well. Come Over is a beauty with it’s acoustic guitar and sad string arrangement.

You can hear the Field Music influence in the songs as well. The sparse clean sound that you are familiar with if you are a fan of Field Music, The Week that Was and School of Language is present and makes the album an aural delight. The Debatable Land  is a  solid record that tempers the eccentricities of Les Cox Sportifs and adds a little (but not too much) folksiness both of which contribute to its long-lasting likability.

stream: Pea Sea – Inconceivable (from The Debatable Land out now on Sea Records)

Not to worry Les Cox Sportifs are still going, they’ve just released a new  EP  that was also recorded by David Brewis. The Bath Bomb EP is available from their bandcamp page.

2010: My Year In Records

December 21, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Posted in Albums, Best of, Lists, Music | 11 Comments
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Les Cox (Sportifs) Killing Rock n’ Roll.

July 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Posted in mp3, Music | 1 Comment
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Les Cox (Sportifs) don’t sound like they just released an album last week. They sound like they could have been born in the late 70’s post punk scene. Their dissident noise accented by choppy rhythms, minimal crunchy guitar and Christopher Rollen’s heavy accent makes me believe that they are the rightful heirs to the stolen chalice of arty lo-fi art school pop that Yummy Fur snagged from the Fall, Fire Engines and the first Modern Lovers record.

Scheiß Mit Reis is the first full length album from the Newcastle, UK band.  It follows an eight song ep that came out two years ago on Stop Looking and a 7″ single last year on Clunk Click.  Each release has seen the band progress.  Last year’s Total Straightness single was ace, especially the A-side The Hand and the Heep and Scheiß Mit Reis sees the band continuing with a full head of steam.  The Cox (can I say that?) can get downright silly with songs like God Vor Domma and the title track.  The former sees them employ Adam Sandler accents to somewhat amusing effect while the latter ends with the punch line: But I don’t like rice!.  Then there is the song C.O.A.S.T.A.L.M.O.T.H.E.R.F.U.C.K.E.R which in some alternate reality is the hit of the summer with kids blasting it out of their parent’s minivans as they wait for the red light to change as Les Cox spell it out.

It isn’t all shits and giggles with these smarmy art school boys.  John E Millais is a story song about the English painter reminiscent of Johnny Horton and Dead Beat Formula deconstructs, dismantles, and kills rock n’ roll and then realizes that all that isn’t quite necessary as Bo Diddley shows them the light.  Mixing Up the Cordite is an anti-war and anti-establisment song commenting on the current and past geopolitical ignorance of the masses that enable governments to wage wars in far off places to general apathy with lines like Well I hear there’s a war on in a country I don’t know, and  Well, I couldn’t care less who wins the war. The songs are played in a rudimentary minimalistic way and if you don’t pay close attention you could easily assume that it’s one goofy art school joke after the next, but scratch the surface and it becomes much more.  It’s only the middle of the year, but I can safely say Scheiß Mit Reis will be in my year end top ten.

mp3: Les Cox (Sportifs) – Dead Beat Formula (order up a hard copy of Scheiß Mit Reis from Sea Records or go digital)

mp3: Les Cox (Sportifs) – John E Millais

A little background:

mp3: Johnny Horton – Jim Bridger (from Greatest Hits)

mp3: The Fall – Rollin’ Dany (from This Nation’s Saving Grace)

mp3: Minutemen – The Big Stick (from 3-way Tie for Last)

mp3: Fire Engines – Meat Whiplash (from Hungry Beat)

mp3: Modern Lovers – Government Center (from The Modern Lovers)

mp3: Yummy Fur – 801 (from Sexy World)

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