To look at Liam Hayes is to get a profound sense of manic Dr. Who-like energy. From the frizzed hair to the bold fashion sense, the Chicago-based multi instrumentalist is a perfectionist steeped in a healthy sense of retro eccentricity, and his music for much of the last 20 years has echoed that fevered charisma, even if this is only his forth album.

From scoring films for Roman Coppola (2013’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III) to appearing in them (he made a cameo in Stephen Frears’ enduring High Fidelity), ‘Slurrup’ captures the breadth and depth of Hayes’ eclecticism in what feels like delineated album split.

Opener ‘Intro/Slurrup’ is a nifty little number that’s part fidgety pots and pans racket, part drawling BPM that wriggles and squirms until its premature end before the slick psychedelics of ‘One Way Out’ morph into a bluesy garage rock bopper to take you back to the relatively simpler times when the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and The Von Bondies were adorning music press pages.

It helps the first-half fly by at a scattergun pace of sub 3-minute snapshots before the second half of the album slows things down with equally short but languid guitar ditties more reminiscent of 2009’s ‘Bright Penny’. By the time the TV noise interlude of ‘Channel 44’ crackles into life, ‘Slurrup’’s immediate earworm appeal has already firmly burrowed its way in.


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