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Gilbert Linley - Wahoola!

  by Tom Fogarty

published: 27 / 1 / 2012

Gilbert Linley - Wahoola!
Label: Gilbert
Format: CD


Mellow second album of superb experimental rock from Gilbert, the project of London-based musician and Engineers drummer, Matthew Gilbert Linley

'Wahoola!' is the second album from Gilbert, composed by Matthew Gilbert Linley, a London-based musician and drummer with Engineers. I first discovered Gilbert in 2010 when they were supporting Joana and The Wolf at Club Ugly near Oxford Street. They had a striking stage presence, with an assortment of unusual instruments to hand, but their music was by no means a pretentious art school sham; they played a brilliant set. Given this, I was very keen to hear Gilbert's latest album, and eager to discover how their quirky onstage persona would translate into album material. Whereas onstage, Gilbert project a lively jocularity with plenty of comedic voiceovers, their album has a far more laid-back approach. The art school background is still plain to see, but the vibe here is very mellow and beautifully crafted. Although really a solo artist, Linley has always brought in several musicians onstage to recreate his sound in a live environment. 'Wahoola!' is an extension of this, Linley saying after it's release "I wanted 'Wahoola!’ to more obviously feature the talents of the people who have been performing the first album live... especially Maud Waret's vocals and Brian Lee’s violin-playing and zany spoken word monologues". There is no better example of this statement then in opening track, 'It's All So Bright' - which features Waret's soft vocals like a lullaby over a delicate but catchy electronic backing track. The song flows smoothly in 'Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow', where we can see Linley's background in classical music and composition coming to the fore, using violins and harp to great effect. The album's title track 'Wahoola!' takes a drastic departure and change of pace, complete with drum 'n' bass effects and rambling spoken voiceovers. This track is the most reminiscent for me of seeing them play live. 'Red Leaves Floating on the Water' resumes where track two left off, and makes for an off kilter change of pace, although the song itself is very strong and one of the album's highlights. On the whole, the album flows together sublimely, and Linley gets to demonstrate his vast musical repertoire, at times building tracks around ambitious string arrangements, as in 'Where (Are You)?', while at other times focusing on drums, or simply soft gentle melodic singing. Linley is a great talent, and this album comes highly recommended.

Track Listing:-
1 It's all so bright
2 Snow snow snow snow snow
3 Wahoola!
4 Red leaves floating on the water
5 Blow the trumpet
6 Where (are you)?
7 So far away
8 Let's go away

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