Das erste Album des Schotten seit 7 Jahren hätte eigentlich schon 2014 herauskommen sollen, wurde aber immer wieder verschoben. Synth-Pop Post-Punk mit Prog- & Kraut-Elementen macht intelligenten Glam Rock, schreibt etwa CLASH. Zeitloser Indie-Rock.
It’s been seven years since George McFall last bestowed a record upon us all, and by Christ it’s been worth the wait. XIV:SURROUNDER should come with all the fanfare of the Second Coming it’s that good and timely. George is a comforter for our benighted times, and XIV:SURROUNDER features nine one-word titles laden with sagacity, sardonicism and surreality. From the psychotically spacey krautrock of the near title track (‘Surrounder’), right through to the nihilistic six minute death waltz of ‘Norman’ at the conclusion. “It's a Celtic synthy epic about a northern male archetype,” says George about the latter. “It's about the closest I've come to writing a song with a narrative.
‘Long awaited is an adjective that seems to feature in all of McFall’s press releases. The Edinburgh-raised musician first came to our attention with 2007’s lauded ‘First Blast Of The Trumpet Against The Monstrous Regiment Of Women’ recorded under the moniker Clean GeorgeIV, a power pop retort to the 1558 polemic of the same name by Scottish Calvanist theologian and miserabilist John Knox. The album that followed, God Save The Clean, came just five years later.
XIV is a step forward. Trading under his birth name this time the second album is an industrious and dense affair, seductive and unsettling in its synthpop/prog/punk/rock/electro musical style with an overarching lyrical theme documenting a deliberate life on the line between escape and reality. It’s an intense, often dark, somewhat humorous record reflecting a tumultuous period for its author involving deaths, romantic derelictions and severe self-assessment.
XIV: Surrounder was meant to come out in 2014 – hence the title – but an unrelenting onslaught of both escape and reality prevented it from being finished until now. It is an oneiric reimagining of the usual singer songwriter fodder, a mangled and mutated Burroughsian adventure that’s as wry as it is boundlessly refreshing. Musically it swings from the bifurcated ‘Practice’ which concludes with a gleaming prog sci-fi outr, and the twitchy, pitchshifty soul glam of ‘Nargo’ (inspired by the gaming world) a track so futuristic it could be from 100 years in the future. Just in time for George McFall’s next record.