Maverick Review

Maverick Magazine (indie-country glossy) had the following to say about our album...
  Review by: Charlotte Taylor
  Record Label: Vacilando '68 Recordings
  Star Rating:


Don’t waste your time trying to categorise it just enjoy it, every musical twist and turn in a wonderful, surreal journey into the dark and beautiful minds of Stuart Turner and The Flat Earth Society. Welcome to the mad hatter's tea party, my friends. The guests are quite eccentric but then some of the best music is a little mad.

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF PHRENOLOGY, A Presentation by Stuart Turner and The Flat Earth Society is the band's third album. A considered discourse in fifteen chapters according to the cover sleeve, this is indeed a project of magnificent proportions and pure imagination.

Stuart Turner (guitar and vocals) is joined by his Flat Earth Society members, Robbie Wilkinson – guitar, Bob Collins – guitar, Nick Rice – bass, Rob Shepherd – banjo and Steve Moore – drums and an ensemble of guest appearances from close musical friends. Together they have achieved something rare – a truly original sound and collection of alternative blues tales - thoughtful and varied, eccentric and dark.

I have never heard vocals like Stuart's before. They are angry, painful and uncompromising with intelligent lyrics and a thoughtful look at the world and its darker corners. It's not just about the vocals regardless of the warranted attention that you will pay them. These are individual chapters crafted by the changing nature of the band and the full range of style and skill brought by its members and required to complete such a wonderful and whimsical project.

As I have said, categorising this band and their latest album would be futile. You will hear several great songs deep rooted in the blues such as the muddy, rasps and mischievous banjo playing of Song For Long Term Relations and The Gospel According To Us. STFES also show much broader influences and an impressive ability to write undeniably catchy hooks and great indie pop and rock guitar which appear in Gunville Girl and The Get Out.

Mindspikes showcases roguish drums and electric guitar. This free, wayward attitude continues with Diminished Responsibility and Call Me Dave which conjures up images of a travelling showman and his honky-tonk piano.

The album ends with the bands spirit-rousing take on traditional The Mingulay Boat Song. Stuart's vocals provide a gorgeous contrast against the musical arrangement which begins sweet and subtle but sees each layer growing into something that is grand, uplifting and full of hope. The album's closer shows off the bands musical capability, thanks the listener for their company and leaves them inspired to start their own adventure.

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