It’s been a decade since Death By Chocolate last cut a disc but their approach goes back to a time thirty years earlier when psychedelia and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop were at their peak. However, as with previous records, the trio’s new album is just as distinctive for its obsession with food.
‘Bric-a-Brac’ is less an album of songs but more a mixture of spoken word interludes containing listings of menus and scientific facts, interspersed with instrumentals and a couple of cover versions, namely a breezy run through the ‘Are You Being Served?’ theme. The album stands out more with the actual songs. The title track captures the retro-futurist glories of Stereolab, ‘Bantam Motorbike’ draws on the innocence of the Swinging Sixties whereas ‘Dining With Death’ cunningly attaches devlish guitar shapes to girl harmonies and handclaps. Meanwhile, vintage keyboards help to maintain the interest on the wordless pieces.
This record would fit in nicely with the nostalgic sounds of the Cherry Red or more accurately the Èl Records roster. It may never consistently deliver on its potential for classic melody (like, say, The Superimposers) but the authenticity of the experience is undeniable.
Darla Label and Shop Site
Stererolab, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, The Superimposers