This being Dean Blunt – a former half of shadowy sample duo Hype Williams and renowned teller of tall tales – the title of his second solo album, ‘Black Metal’, is as inaccurate as its contents is unexpected. The Pastels and C86 are hardly Venom, and it’s these decidedly un-Blunt sounds that influence ‘Black Metal’, until they’re ditched for a disjointed mix of stoner dub (‘Punk’), red light district sax wheezing (‘Hush’, ‘Grade’) and a misplaced interlude of violent radio waves (‘Country’), which is pretty unlistenable. There’s also a brilliant, shuffling 14-minute centrepiece that you could easily mistake for a These New Puritans art installation.

The less experimental, C86 stuff (especially ‘100’; a duet with Joanne Robertson who offsets Blunt’s flat vocals on a number of tracks) demonstrates the extent of this artist’s contrary nature, by being so joyously accessible that you might question why he couldn’t stick with that. The same goes for the opening ‘Lush’, which showboats Blunt’s skill for synthesised orchestrations. But, then, that wouldn’t be fucking with us enough, would it?


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