Now, we are talking Le Reno Amps here. As Scottish bands go, they never really fitted into the Oasis worshipping indie rock groove thang beloved of bands in that part of the world and, on the evidence of their new album “Appetite”, they haven’t made even the slightest effort to conform.
Instead, they have continued in their relentless pursuit of the offbeat and the almost deliberately obtuse use of misplaced black humour in their songs. That’s not to say that they are in any way obscure as melodies and hooks are no strangers to this band. It’s just that they don’t really worship the false God of consistency in a forlorn attempt to achieve commercial success. Let’s consider their no doubt carefully planned strategy. Throw in a bit of neo George Jones in Buckfast country (“Sinners”) then execute a right turn into a Kinks meets the Fleshtones doing a Rocky Horror soundtrack pastiche (“I’m Alive”) before nicking the motifs off left of centre eighties horror rock (“Cottonmouth Rock”) and then it will be time to get that metaphorical box of crayons out. See, no sat-nav, even under doctor’s orders, could figure out how to get Le Reno Amps where they are going with those pit stops.
The point I am trying to make is that Le Reno Amps are a proper square peg that just won’t fit in a round hole kind of band. Even with the volume turned right up and with copious quantities of beer in your belly, you won’t get further than three songs before too have to ask yourself what is happening here. In fact, I’m tempted to give this band full marks just for failing to be normal. Yes, that is what I shall do shortly before I go and bang my head off a wall. Repeatedly.
Bluesbunny Album of the Month for April 2011.