Singing a gleaming, harmony rich song with a barely hidden lyrics of downcast hopelessness, overlooked Welsh sonic explorers, El Goodo present a glorious anthem for there being just no point in trying in Things Turn Around – OUT NOW on Strangetown Records. Brilliantly transposing a powder dry sense of humour to tape, the four-piece plug in to the melodic essence of The Byrds while staring from their windows in the Vale of Neath, regretting ever getting out of bed.
Things Turn Around’s accompanying video unearths never-before-seen footage of the band on the road with the Super Furry Animals, capturing a month of playful joy as 2006’s Love Kraft tour wound its way from town to town. Matching the song’s downcast lyrics cut with sparkling instrumentation, the band look back at a time of youthful hope and smile at squandered opportunity.
Starting out as an idea indebted to Harvest-era Neil Young. Things Turn Around finds band leader Pixy Jones (lead vocals/guitars/keys) toying with listener’s emotions. He says of the track: “Lyrically, it’s a bit of a joke. Me finding as many different ways as I can to say that everything’s going to turn to shit. The video footage seemed to suit the song in that they were great times, but that was the peak from which we started our journey into obscurity.”
Things aren’t, in reality, all that bad for El Goodo, whose first single, The Grey Tower, from upcoming album, Zombie (released on Fri 7 August), received extensive critical praise and gained radio support from BBC 6 Music. Swaying from triumphant, heart lifting, West Coast gold to banjo-plucking, dustbowl country, there’s definitely no band quite like El Goodo.
Recording Zombie at the legendary Rockfield Studios in the company of experimental producer, Tim Lewis (aka Thighpaulsandra, a former member of Spiritualized), El Goodo’s new, 13-track long player gathers songs exploring parenthood, losing parents and Spanish surrealist film. Originally intending their collaboration with a dedicated producer to be a double-album, a new sense of purpose and direction instead guided them to a drum-tight clutch of tracks that just fits on two sides instead of four.
As well as recording Zombie direct to tape, El Goodo dug around in Lewis’ rich archive of analogue equipment at his Aeriel studio in Carmarthenshire, including a rare Univox early synth used by Joe Meek in the recording of his 1962 game-changer Telstar (now used by the band on I Can’t Leave). The result of their journey is a rich tapestry of valve-powered sound, recalling the White Album, Scott Walker, The Troggs, Gene Clark, the Beach Boys and numerous other ‘golden-age’ sonic explorers. It features over 20 musicians including Pixy, plus core members Elliott Jones (drums), Jason Jones (vocals/guitars) and Andrew Cann (bass), plus Sweet Baboo/Stephen Black (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Flute) and Welsh Music Prize-nominee, Eugene Capper (violin/slide guitar).
The album is named after Lewis’ sadly-departed dog, Zombie – etched in the band’s memories and nasal passages as a vegetable-loving creature, with noxious after effects.
Forming in the late 90s, El Goodo (named after the Big Star song, Ballad Of El Goodo) emerged with intent as not only a support band for Super Furry Animals on their 2006 Love Kraft UK tour, but also as label mates as the Furries released the band’s self-titled debut on their Placid Casual label in 2005. Haphazardly piecing together records using faulty equipment in a crumbling village hall in their sleepy hometown of Resolven, the next 15 years has seen El Goodo blip contentedly on the radar as a gently persistent musical jewel cherished by knowing audiophiles.
Their association with the Furries persists as Zombie is released on Cian Ciarán and Dafydd Ieuan’s Cardiff-based, Strangetown Records.
For release updates from El Goodo, connect with the band online at: