Micko & The Mellotronics – Le Vice Anglais

  • Peter Hough posted
  • Reviews
Micko & The Mellotronics

Micko & The Mellotronics

Le Vice Anglais - Landline Records

In reviewing Micko and the Mellotronics½ Dove, ½ Pigeon album in 2020, we delighted in what we then described as a piece of work blending ‘rock shapes with determinedly off-kilter noise and confusion.’ Well, here is some news: Micko‘s new offering Le Vice Anglais is simultaneously – and gloriously – more of the same. But it is also even better. More in that Micko‘s charmingly lyrical genius remains crisply eloquent, but better (in crass commercial terms maybe) in that the Mellotronic sound has become a bit smoother and a bit poppier. There’s an early Blur-flavoured Britpop feel to much of this material that is refreshingly anachronistic yet, paradoxically new and invigorating.

From the initial feedback howl and angular riffing of the opener Words, this is a helter-skelter rush through Micko’s world where dolphins discuss the price of shrimp and we’re all messing with our phones. You daren’t not listen because every utterance is a diamond. Autosexual dodges around the minefield of the narrative of, and thorny issues around,  human attraction by asserting the ideal of self-love. Holloway Road has a dreamy ambience, the kind of song Ray Davies might write today if he could be bothered. The whole album is a vivid and closely observed document on modern life. Any one of these tracks could and should occupy a favourite slot on your preferred music delivery platform; every single one is a winner. Favourite track – well, that’s a bit of a Sophie’s choice because they’re all terrific but if pushed, it would be the jaunty The Great Santini

This album features Budge Magraw (Cesarians/Gretschen Hofner) and Horace Panter (The Specials) on bass, Paul Cuddeford (Holy Holy/Boomtown Rats) on lead guitar, Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey) on brass, actor/comedian Kevin Eldon (Fist of Fun, Brass Eye, It’s Kevin), guitarist Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno/Florence & The Machine) and Mike Paradinas (µ-ziq, Kid Spatula). This album is too smooth to be overly-challenging, and too wickedly pointed to sit comfortably with your easy listening playlist. Le Vice Anglais is a thoroughly satisfying dismantling of contemporary life as seen through the lens of Micko’s razor-sharp lyrical acuity. Resolutely left-field, always surprising and so sharp, it’ll cut you. We love it.

Le Vice Anglais is out now on Landline Records. Micko & The Mellotronics have announced a London show and will play Hope & Anchor, Islington on Wednesday 20th December with Cult Figures & Helen McCookerybook.