Boomkat Product Review:
A delectable record of abstract pop jams from perennially underrated New Zealand mainstay Roy Montgomery. There's even two covers - bizarrely resonant neo-waved versions of the Carpenters' 'Superstar' and Tim Buckley's 'Song to the Siren'. Imagine an unholy union of Scott Walker and David Sylvian, underpinned by that unmistakable Kiwi jangle.
This year, the Grapefruit imprint has promised to release four (!) Roy Montgomery albums. The first was January's exceptional "Island of Lost Souls", "That Best Forgotten Work" is the next installment and couldn't be more different. While its predecessor honed in on Montgomery's almost cosmic long-form shimmer, this record parades his pop sensibilities.
Montgomery sings on every track, his wry bottom register voice occupying a mid-point between David Sylvian, Morrissey and Scott Walker. He accompanies the vocals on multi-tracked guitar, creating slippery synth-like clouds and tunnels that sound warm and familiar. It's as if the architects of dream pop Cocteau Twins and The Cure shared a liminal practice space with druggy noiseniks Spacemen 3, but in Montgomery's hands the songs drift away from their influences with surreal humor and wit.
Hearing Montgomery tackle pop music is a rare treat. His version of 'Superstar' is particularly essential, cavernous and steeped in melancholy - we can almost imagine it over the end credits of a particularly bleak episode of "Twin Peaks: The Return".