King Biscuit Time
With Stephen Mason seemingly announcing his intention to quit music, it looks like Black Gold will be King Biscuit Time's debut and swansong. A shame when you listen to it, a hypnotic blend of electro, folk, hip-hop and god knows what else, that will, like a good Simpsons episode, reward repeat consumption. This is because there are that many layers and subtle flourishes hidden away in the tracks, that it is too much for the brain to take in all at once. The best example of this is "Lefteye", a highlight of the album, which blends riffing acoustic guitars and a bar room piano with marching band percussion. It rolls along nicely taking on extra layers with every verse, until all of the composite layers collide, resulting in a mesmerising aftershock that sends your ears scrambling for a coherent melody.
Similarly, "All Over You" is a slow-burning masterpiece, starting as a steady piece of country-tinged folk, it gradually undulates into a jagged rock song with cutting electric guitar chords, while Mason bitterly laments,
"I only loved you for a little while." This ain't the stuff of MTV. Even though it seems like there will be no future offerings from King Biscuit Time, this album will provide fans with an extremely substantial listen, that has more facets and depth than 99% of what is in the top forty right now. "Rising Son" is a psychedelic lullaby that will burn itself into your subconscious whether you want it to or not, "CIAM15" is an intriguing piece of lo-fi hip-hop that just about manages to out-Gorillaz Gorillaz. The only let-down is the final track, "Metal Biscuit", a piece of non descript ambience, that at 1:21 is too short to leave a lasting impression. But, on the evidence of this overall fine collection, the same will not be said of King Biscuit Time.