A love letter to a lost decade.
Did music ever take a greater leap than when four bar-band aspirants sang “I wanna hold your hand”? The simple words of Liverpool deadbeats toppled the hegemony of Tin Pan Alley. The Beatles changed the world with a gentle proposition. Not only could musicians seize power as songwriters, they could become artists.
Drawing from the four waters of Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, and Beatles for Sale, rosters of Mersey purists litter the footnotes of music’s last half-century. While other bands have pushed forward, they’ve kept a special flame alive. Breathing warmth between fuzzy guitar lines, sheerly for the love it.
Cut Worms’ Max Clarke throws back to Mersey pop and even a little further still to The Everly Brothers. It’s here Clarke is in his element. Pulling together a constellation of girl group, doo-wop, folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll, Buddy Holly and R&B which converged at the Sixties’ onset. A collision of melody, rhythmic push and clever instrumental licks. His voice buzzes, even if its harmonising with himself.
Hollow Ground shuffles side to side. It’s bristling with easy warmth. Max’s musical fabric is decades-old but set in motion with clever charm. These lyrics unfold intuitively, an old medium but a new story. Strumming bluesy breaks into mid-tempo rockers, he’s in command. Wistful or euphoric, his head swims ever-locked within a push-pull of romantic swirl. Backing these thoughts Cut Worms songs are insistent. They’re possessed with forlorn simplicity.
“Tell me how you want me/ Tell me what I can do.” Again, gentle suggestion sets mind and fantasy alight. As this beat ‘n’ soul lends itself to suggest that sometimes it’s okay to once again take that escapist trip.