Boomkat Product Review:
Fifth album in and Paddy Steer's Homelife continue to amaze and fill us with joy and wonder at how a barrel load of influences and wild talent can equal musical magic rather than a horrible mess. Again featuring the dominant members Graham Massey and Seeming To (Seeming seeming! to take more of a group role here rather than upfront vocalist on 'Flying Wonders') alongside other core member Tony Burnside. Wayward throughout in it's most charming manner. The mixture of horns, loose drums and loopy melodies beguile and thrill. 'Roman Form' which starts this album off takes in Captain Beefheart, Art Ensemble Of Chicago and 70's cop show pimp funk with a barrage of firework's crackling. The multi vocalised title track is a tough ride into slug funk with an abstract rule disobeying aura / while still being pure fun. 'A Casa (The House)' calms things down into a classic piece of Homelife, cartoonlike musical themes (this time maybe 'Roobarb'), Graham's rasping baritone saxophone rasps next to Howard Jacobs free flowing melodic runs. In the midst of this is Maanila Santos' gorgeous vocal. Talking of killer vocals possibly my favourite track on 'G.M.H.L.' is 'Harder', simply the finest neo disco funk soul afro track in age's, with these references of course one man comes to mind = Arthur Russell. Tony Burnside's sweet and innocent vocal rings of Arthur Russells' style and delivery, focussed strongly on the recent Audika compilation - my top track of the year so far, no less - it leaves me breathless. Seeming makes her first vocal appearance on 'Heaven Knows', a swooning rapture of a song accompanied by boozy horn's, handclaps and Kubrick's 2001 style bleeps - quite amazing. The quite mad 'Banjo' is a delirious bag of tricks, like a midtempo batucada track with freeform poetics dropping science on the fantastic musical possibilities of this much ridiculed instrument. Those amazing bollywood on mars string arrangements appear on the lowriding jazzyfelakutijamming sweep of 'Lowdell Is Missing'. Flamenco funk get's a real shock on 'April Sunshine', again Tony Burnside's vocal aim straight at your soul. 'Windytreehouserollerdisco' is as you can imagine, whatever you want it to be - in my ears it's Tom Ze jamming to the theme tune of another seventies kids tv theme tune orchestrated by Lalo Schifrin. Finally we have the gorgeous backwater drift of 'Big Tree' blessed by Seeming's vocals and 'Strangers' equally calming and touched by something altogether wonderful. Enough warranted superlatives, in the year end shake up this will probably be one of my fave albums of 2004. Madwaltzley recommended.