Reviews

Gaz Coombes
World's Strongest Man

(Caroline)

7/10

Once upon a time, Gaz Coombes was the frontman of Britpop’s most wacky and zany band, Supergrass, who were never short of a goofy grin, a puppet prancing in their videos, and songs about being young, free, clean of teeth and banged up by the rozzers. But not anymore. 

His third solo album, this is a Channel 4 drama of a record, in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world that may not be that far away. The absurdity of our pre-Brexit/present Trump/Russian-spies-in-Zizzi world is affecting everyone and music, too. And described as being inspired by – amongst other things – Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man, Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’, Californian weed, British woodlands, unchecked toxic masculinity and hip-hop, ‘World’s Strongest Man’ is a veritable melting pot of genre-bending songs.

‘Walk the Walk’ has Coombes channelling his inner Thom Yorke, with a debt to everything Radiohead have done since ‘OK Computer’, while ‘Vanishing Act’ brings things up to date by aping MJ from Hookworms’ vocal gymnastics and visceral, guttural screams – “I’ve gotta get my fucking head straight!”. Lead single ‘Deep Pockets’ then propels forward with a motorik beat, a Krautrock drive and falsetto harmonies. It’s a track that’s indicative of this adventurous and exciting record, which is another step forward from Coombes’ ‘Matador’ LP of 2015, helping him to avoid being pigeonholed like his former band unfairly were.

Loud And Quiet could do with your help

We love making Loud And Quiet – our magazines, this website, our podcasts and more – but it’s become increasingly difficult for us to balance the books.

If you’re a reader who’d like to help us keep the show on the road, please consider becoming a Loud And Quiet member. There are options to receive our physical magazines and lots of other extras that are exclusive to our supporters.