The conjoining of Stanley Brinks (AKA André Herman Düne) and The Wave Pictures may not seem that tantalising on paper, with the former’s whimsical and borderline-twee journeying seemingly an ill-fitting foil for the latter’s retro-inclined garage-pop. Yet surprisingly, the two camps bring out the best in each other, as last year’s Gin LP attested. This fourth album-length collaboration continues the fruitful musical fecundity. Stretching each other into refreshing new terrain as well as sustaining older mutual sources of attraction, My Ass is a wilfully eccentric yet charming collection of the plaintive and the playful.
With Brinks drawing more deeply on his mixed Swedish-Moroccan heritage and his globe-trotting experiences and The Wave Pictures enveloping his songs with a blend of Velvet Underground-meets-Modern Lovers shapes and adaptive accommodation of Brinks’s more exotic tastes, My Ass has a laidback yet studious reach, all glued-together by Soup Studios’ ever-reliable Simon Trought.
Hence, there’s some gorgeously languid Reed-Morrison chug ‘n’ roll for the likes of “Brighton”, “Berlin” and “Back To My Island In The Sun” to tick more guitar-slinging traditionalist boxes comfortably but not lazily. Elsewhere, for the wonderful “Wakefield” the gathered ranks – bolstered by an unvarnished barroom-choir that is deployed beautifully at several key points across the long-player – dip enchantingly into a wistfully warming jazz and ragtime rambling singalong. In the even more outré realms proceedings take peculiar but still enjoyable sonic turns; with the junkshop-calypso of “Fire In My Mind”, the snake-charming mysticism of “My Camel” and the desert-rock skronk of “Think About You” being highlights.
Whilst Stanley Brinks’ fey tones and deliberately oddball lyrics may still put-off those unaccustomed to his idiosyncratic ways, there’s no denying that there is something undefinably special and life-affirming forged inside this fourth time around trip with The Wave Pictures, which makes its magnetic presence felt with each addiction-inciting airing. A somewhat unexpected pleasure all told.