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MICACHU – Jewellery (CD, Accidental Records/Rough Trade)

Posted: April 28th, 2009, by JGRAM

With her backing band The Shapes the debut album from Micachu is a wretched mess of ideas and systematic hooks that sound autistic and extrovert.

Not very easy on the ear on first listen the fifteen tracks on display here display a sense of adventure not so common in modern (accepted) music and in many ways actually reminds me of those wonky early Pavement EPs that could often be rendered into nothing more than glorious noise.  Rather than hulking lo-fi guitars here Micachu exhibits a more eclectic arsenal of instruments in reckless abandon (many homemade and very unorthodox) suggesting a personal leaning and preference towards Beck and a poison combination of whitey folk hip hop.

In her voice Micachu displays something of a hybrid of Kimya Dawson and a drunken teenage Polly Harvey (especially on “Guts”) as the music drips in Bjork weirdness but in a favourably M.I.A. crossed with Captain Beefheart influenced manner.  That is not forgetting the Raincoat-esqe tone of sarcasm.

Produced by Matthew Herbert the rhythms hold surprisingly well considering what they are manufactured by as something of a paper thin version of legendary musical strangeness, sounding like a true outsider even if she is not necessarily one.  That said, the times the songs fall on their arse they do come with something of a passing resemblance to The Shaggs in delivery and mentality.

You can tell the young Micachu has listened to music all her life as she rips off the intro to The Champs “Tequila” on “Calculator” probably without even realising it.

The highlight of the piece is “Worst Bastard” with its genuine pop hooks and tasty sentiments that provide real attitude and a flow that energises.

Ultimately the results are mixed as songs begin to lose hooks in preference to extensive meandering and exploration making the album something of a patience tester but equally unique in execution and definitely something to search out in the name of adventure.

You may hate me for “recommending” this record.

Thesaurus moment: intrepid.


Accidental Records

Rough Trade


JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.

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