Acclaimed artist Andy Holden has teamed up with four others to form The Grubby Mitts - a band that is known for blurring the lines between art and music. With the use of toy and homemade instruments and consistently repeating lyrics throughout their songs, The Grubby Mitts have spent most of their recent tour performing in art galleries instead of the usual music venues. This in itself begins to shed some light on just how different The Grubby Mitts are.
Their new album 'What The World Needs Now Is', is due out on March 9th 2015 and shows us just how the band combine art and music to create a form that is entirely unlike anything we've heard before. Intriguing and captivating are not quite good enough to describe The Grubby Mitts' new album, however there don't seem to be any other words in existence appropriate enough.
The album almost gives you the feeling about what it would be like to be floating around space, simply hovering in the atmosphere, and not really doing a lot. It's a shame that the eighteen tracks on the album all sound very similar. Its repetitiveness, although entrancing at times, makes it seem like you have the same three songs on repeat.
The home-made and toy instruments can quite easily be picked out and don't always seem to blend in well together. One too many times there is a sound that is out of place echoing a kind of Picasso style to the music.
'Standard' opens beautifully with what appears to be a replica of an acoustic guitar or keyboard. The dubstep style track over the top is something new from The Grubby Mitts and shows that they are willing to just about venture anywhere to continue to build their artistic empire. However, the 'ya da dum dum dum dum dum' vocals over this take away from the track's simplistic beauty and, towards the end of the track, the layers begin to build to the point where so many instruments and vocals can be heard that parts of the song are drowned out.
Although this is all for effect and the build up of instruments can sometimes create a positive effect in a song, in this case it doesn't quite seem to work. Nevertheless, the closing of the track where the majority of instruments cut out is effective. Some tracks are actually quite catchy. 'Bubbleblower', 'To a Friend's House the Way Is Never Long and 'Worm of Eternal Return' are ones that you may be able to sing along to if you learnt the words and musically work better together than some other tracks on the album.
The final song, 'Stormcock's Song', is a slightly unnecessary addition - in fact, it is simply just a vocal warm up exercise. Although different to what a normal album may consist of, this stops 'What The World Needs Now Is' from ending with a bang.
Overall, the album is a little disappointing. Although it is definitely an experiment, musically the tracks need some tightening and some tracks need stripping back in order for them to sound more pleasing to the ear. However, like with a lot of art, the album is all about taste. Some people may see the album as a masterpiece and others may not be able to stand it. It is worth remembering that the group was formed by an artist and therefore is not conventional to the music world.
This album is definitely worth a listen by anyone who is intrigued with unique styles of music and who is very open minded, but if you are stuck in the world of traditional genres, then give this a miss.
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