Cox McQueen, The Cautionary Tale of Cox McQueen - album review
Cox McQueen is the latest project of Wolverhampton-based Sharam Gill.
Sharam, his band, and producer Philip Lane combine for this concept album telling the 'cautionary tale' of the fictional Cox. Referencing various big names of music and the trappings of fame, it serves as 'a heady journey through the enigmatic hero's transcendental highs and tragic lows'.
Sharam Gill has previous experience. Formerly fronting the band Panjaea and releasing solo material too, the musician has toured the States and played at the London Olympics in 2012.
This slightly bizarre journey into his mind encompasses so much to sit back and enjoy. At times it's like we are trapped in the mind of Reeves and Mortimer. Bizarre sound effects abound. Spoken word dips its head in. It's part pop, part folk, part electro.
On Cox's journey we end up in one weird field after another. As The Walking Dead's Carol says when she is first introduced to the larger-than-life King Ezekial and his giant pet tiger Shiva: "I don't know what the hell's going on in the most wonderful way."
Silver Gown And Golden Vest is like an impromptu kitchen performance at a house party by Jools Holland and Lightning Seeds. Brass instruments, whizzes, bips and bops amalgamate for a foot-tapping romp through the octaves that is surprisingly good fun.
Folk-rock is sampled in Lovers For The Weak. A chomping bass line drags the song along at increased speed. It's almost kicking and screaming, but it then decides it's quite happy with the situation and it mellows as it slides towards its hushed conclusion.
J4GG3D LYNZ!, which appears towards the end of the record when things start going wrong for our hero, even brings in the sharp shocks of dub step in its harsh outro that encases pretty angry guitar and percussion.
And things seem to work out for Cox in the softly-softly approach of closer Something Queer. It's an electro buzz of a track in the shape of Royksopp or Goldfrapp. It breezes nicely, again the percussion holding court to give it oomph.
Confused? We can understand why. But just give it a listen. The bonkers elements combine for a plush adventure. We challenge anyone to attempt anything this adventurous from an unsigned, standing start and pull it off as well.
To order the record, go to the 'Contact' page at https://sharamgill.co.uk/