Distro Record of the Week; Freddy Fudd Pucker – “Hourglass Wine”
In an effort to make good on my promise of writing more (and to shift some product, obvz), I’ve decided to start a “Distro Record of the Week” column. One of the coolest things about running a label is the amount of amazing music that I get to listen to and the gems I get to wrap my grateful ears around that may have otherwise remained undiscovered by me.
I don’t remember exactly how Freddy Fudd Pucker and I became acquainted, I think he hit me up looking for a show sometime in early 2014. What I do know is that he is a wonderfully talented and kind gentleman and that “Hourglass Wine” has been on regular rotation on my turntable since I got my copy at BYAF IX.
“Hourglass Wine” is Freddy’s first full-length record to be given the vinyl treatment and this release comes of classic black wax courtesy of New Zealand’s Monkey Records and the Ramones Museum in Berlin. The record also comes with a twelve page comic containing all lyrics and illustrations that accompany the songs. Vaguely a concept record concerning the evolution of our hero Momo and the stealing of time, the album contains ten tracks of thoughtful, intelligent and impeccably well-written melodic folk/punk crackers that range from the full-on raging to the sombre and introspective.
Freddy Fudd Pucker is a one-man-band so there’s a range of interesting instrumentation and arrangements on display, with equal doses of full-stomping bass drum, electric guitars and blaring moothies as quietly-picked guitar loops, soaring melodies and abstract poetic lyricism. In terms of sonics and influence, we’re pitching in somewhere between the dark-hearted romance of Alkaline Trio and The Cure and marrying it to the classic road-worn folk warmth and wisdom of Neil Young and Bob Dylan. The whole thing is crafted with a punk rock heart and both the emotional honesty and sincerity of intent bleed out all over this record.
As a piece taken together, “Hourglass Wine” is one of the most complete pieces of acoustic-based work I’ve heard in a while, taking us on an engaging journey whilst painting pictures with a smart narrative and intriguing characters throughout. The tone matches the aesthetic perfectly and the whole album flows together beautifully, featuring several stand out moments (“Don’t Fail Me Now”, “Bad Actors”, closing piece “A Gathering Mass”) whilst never detracting from the narrative whole.
In a time of saturation, it’s refreshing and reassuring to find an acoustic artist (singer/songwriter, whatever ye prefer) with a firm sense of their own identity whilst continuing to explore it through their art, music and lyrics. Bottom line, this is a great record from front to back and comes strongly recommended.