This is a review of "Are you one of the Family?" recorded by The Scaramanga Six. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2000.
Save for the first twenty seconds of the opening and title track "Are you one of the Family?" (On their own Trinity Records label), an opening in which The Scaramanga Six have recorded some very strange effects, including explosions, I actually like this track. The track is a lot more pop-sounding than their earlier recordings, and whilst the band would say they have always had pop at heart this is much more obvious on this EP. Those twenty seconds I personally could have done without as it almost freaked me out, thinking, "please don't do this the whole song" - luckily they didn't, and I enjoyed the rest!
My first opinions of this track musically is an aggressive, rock version of acts such as David Devant & His Spirit Wife. And whilst the band retain this fun, mainstream touch to the depth of the music they don't half like to crunch it all up with a blend of interesting effects and alternative rock ethics. Oh, and the odd "stolen" bass line in the chorus and touches of The Fall creeping in here and there.
For whatever reason the second track "Grasp the Candle" reminded me of The Flintstones - yes, the cartoon. Why I don't know, it was not a musical reaction, more imagery I think. Perhaps it was the style of the swooning vocals? Or perhaps it was the opening line "Down in the idiot's lair, I hear the moop-de-dup-de-dup-de-dup" sung by Steve Morricone which has traits of "Yaba-daba-do"...! Whatever it was, it made me think about to watching cartoons, but anyway, very strange that - but it had to be said. A unique track by all accounts (from my personal musical experiences at least) with some nice moments when the backing vocals kick in. Whether or not this is "good" is probably down to your own personal tastes, but I like it.
Two more ballad-styled tracks close up the CD with female vocals having more of a look-in. But "ballad" could never come under the Six's repertoire, so think "ballad" as actually "alternative-driven effects, only slower". "Ladies and Gentlemen" is probably my favourite, imagine touches of the later Delgados releases it's its delivery. This is probably much more of a general-appeal track, much more chance in my eyes of being played on the radio (should the chance arise) and mixes a nice, but common, set of influences. This could definitely hold itself out to more people than the rest of the CD. Best track by far.
Finally, "Disenchanted Melody" closes up the CD, very mellow, very atmospheric, very unlike the rest of the CD. Up until 4 minutes has gone at least....