Lullaby For A Unicorn – I Can’t Believe They’re Not Better
Dates & Raisins Records
Release Date: 04/07/2020
Running Time: 34:09
Review by Beth Jones
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, a unicorn got jiggy with a seagull, and spawned 4 ne’er-do-wells. It taught them the language of the unicorn gull, then threw them out of the nest, to find their own way in the doldrums. The young hoodlums roamed the galaxy for years, serenading the planets with their unique sound, until one day, around 30 million years later, when they could finally be arsed, they decided to put their music on a record. And, ladies and gents, that record is the subject of my musings today!
Here in the Wales, we like life to be lived at a more leisurely pace than our English neighbours. Most parts of the country now have running water, which is pretty damn high tech, let me tell you. Apparently soon, we may also have something called 5G, or at least 4G, however, dial-up does us just fine. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Lullaby For A Unicorn call North Wales their home! It will also come as no surprise that the majority of their debut album, “I Can’t Believe They’re Not Better”, is taken up by songs that anyone who has followed them for the last couple of years will have already heard, many times over! But that doesn’t make them any less groovy/unhinged.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of an evening with the Lullaby boys, then prepare to be medicined! Make sure you bring plenty of rum, leave your serious boots by the door, and put on your tongue in cheek sense of humour hats (and/or unicorn onesies, which ever you feel more conspicuous in)!
‘Alan Raiders’ opens the album (There’s a funny story behind the name of this song – for more details, spam Lullaby on their Facebook page). A classic hit of theirs, which introduces us to the tortured vocals of Justin, Baxter’s sexy bass skills, Dan’s riffage, Gaz’s animal-esque drumming, and some dude shouting ‘Alan, Alan, Alan…Alan’ (could be any of them, probably Gaz, but I prefer the mystique of not knowing). It’s difficult to describe their sound. They don’t really have a genre. Unicorn Thrash is probably the closest I’ll get. Imagine you were a unicorn, having a really bad day, sick of everyone telling you that you’re mythical/not real, and fed up with farting rainbows, then you pick up a guitar and play some Thrash on it, and manage some pretty tasty fingerings (ooh err Mrs), even though you have hooves instead of hands, because YOU’RE MAGIC, SO THERE! That’s Unicorn Thrash.
Anyway, moving on. Track 2, ‘Huffing on the Whiskey Smoke’, starts of quite mellow, with stormy sea sound effects, and pleasant guitar, then kick in to a 90’s inspired, sludgy grunge style, with plenty of overdrive, some double bass kicks, and the eternally pissed off vocals of Justin, with the added injection of alcoholic slurring!
These two tracks essentially set the tone for the rest of the album, sludgy, grungy, slightly doomy, thrash, with a bit of funk popping up every now and again (the opening of ‘Kung-fu Bukkake’ being one fine example). Musically, it couldn’t be further away from polished if it tried, but I would expect nothing less from the boys, really!! However, this lack of finesse, rough around the edges, approach does make it, and them, strangely exciting!
My favourite track has to be ‘WTF’. Not because it’s a stroke of musical genius that’s better than the rest, but because it takes me back to the good old days of the Tivoli Nightclub in Buckley. The Saturday rock nights there were my happy place, back in the late 90’s, and this track is almost an illustration of them. Picture the scene – it’s around 11.30pm, and I’m sitting on the dubiously stained sofas, on the balcony area, drunk as a skunk and stoned out of my tree, trying to make sense of the metal music drifting from downstairs, as it merges with the music from the Indie room upstairs. It was mental torture, but it was great. This track is exactly that!
In fact, that pretty much sums up the album, really. Epically lovable mental torture. It’s not the most technically put together album you’re going to hear, nor is it the most musically adept. But it’s jolly good drunken fun, and they do have a great sound, and an endearing attitude towards both music, and life. One suggestion though, if you’re not drunk, go and get drunk, then come back and listen to it, and I promise you’ll be jumping about like you’ve lost your mind within seconds.
02.Huffing On The Whiskey Smoke
03.March Of The Unicorns
07.Lords Of Vice Live at HRH Metal 2020 (Stage Three)
08.Pointing At Seagulls (2018…honestly, not filler at all)
Justin – Vocals and Synths
Gaz – (D)rums and Funny Noises
Baxter – Rumbling Bass Noises and Onesies
Dan – Guitar, Stupid Facial Expressions and a Terrible Posture
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