GENERAL KUSTARD – General Custard (Falling A)

General Kustard are the brainchild of ex-Insane Picnic member Owen Turley, and he has ditched the angular indie guitar rock of his former band for synths and drum machines. ‘Ambulance’ opens this debut album in fairly inconsequential style, but it is ‘Runways’ which sets out his stall, being oddly melodic and rhythmically catchy at the same time. ‘Relief’ has a semblance of a tune to it, making it quite filmic in an art-house sort of way. ‘Unforce’ is a clever track, taking a news item from the radio and feeding it through a vocoder, then manipulating it so that the voices form music. ‘Foghost’ is back to the more normal electronic instrumentals, although lacking the tunefulness of ‘Relief’, and ‘Pillowtalk’ takes it to the extreme in an experimental piece using treated synths. ‘Scatteringstars’ and ‘Stumble’ are another couple of tracks with that filmic quality, while ‘Surveillance’ does conjure up the unease of surreptitiously being watched. ‘Prototype’ ends the album on a tuneful note, and on the whole this is a fairly enjoyable album. Although I find this sort of music quite dated (harking back to my days of buying independent cassettes from the back of fanzines in the 80’s) at least Turley has tried to bring the production values into the 21st Century, and has delivered a reasonable first effort.