By Jim Noir
Having heard a truckload of overtly and comically favourable comments about Mr. Jim Noir recently, I was as pleased as an affluent drunk in a Bargain Booze to find that this EP had dropped through my letterbox on Christmas Eve. It's also lime green, so I've started looking at it every morning to wake me up. It works better than coffee.
The title track is instantly memorable, hummable, singable, tralalala-able and pretty much everything-able, incorporating the lines "If you don't give my football back I'm gonna get my dad on you / I only kicked it over your fence and broke a silly gnome or two". Weirdness fully in place, this playfully boisterous lyricism could be mistaken for pure boyhood silliness, but the skilfully understated musical surroundings which envelop these crazy words point us in a more mature and astutely-realised direction. The vocals are hushed and smooth, the acoustic guitar is a delight to behold and the skipping tambourines sprinkle floral, evergreen loveliness over the proceedings. You have entered Jim's fairy forest of strangeness, and are cordially invited to stay awhile in the Garden of Eanie for 'Tower of Love'. Its fairground organ pipes provide the colourful olde-worlde backdrop for some drippy, trippy honky-tonk piano chords and warm strings so fuzzy they sound like they've just waltzed out of Mary Poppins escorted by those penguins in suits that twizzle around Dick Van Dyke and his missus.
By the time we've reached 'Tell Me What To Do' I no longer know which century we are living in or which paisley-print frock to don. Noir has already been described as 'schizophrenic' by just about everyone in the stratosphere so I'm reluctant to do the same, but it's clear where this picture is coming from - the sleepy and relaxed Disneyland voices ooze out over maniacally-paced basslines and percussion instruments who shake their booties so hard that their collective ass is about to fall off. And to add the final touch, 'I Can't See' uses flutes. Flutes I say, flutes!
On Jim Noir's planet, they've just invented the colour television and the candy cane, and everything is soaking in dollops of rainbow pigment awaiting the tie-dying process. Beautifully bright, amusingly refreshing, and a little nuts.