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Vinny Peculiar - The Root Mull Affect

  by John Clarkson

published: 5 / 5 / 2014

Vinny Peculiar - The Root Mull Affect
Label: Cherry Red Records
Format: CD


First-rate literate pop on new retrospective from Manchester-based singer-songwriter and cult artist, Vinny Peculiar

Vinny Peculiar has a genuine warmth for people. That above all shines through on his new fifteen track retrospective, 'The Root Mull Affect', which is a collection of remixes and outtakes. He likes them for all their frailties, quirks and weaknesses. There are the three gormless boys in 'Egg Incident', who have got themselves both into trouble with the law and into the local newspaper for throwing eggs at their neighbours' houses. The unfortunate narrator of 'Jesus Stole My Girlfriend' loses his girlfriend to Christianity. "I much preferred her cynical, miserable, hysterical, illogical, despicable," he bemoans. The hopeless dreamer of 'Man About the House' meanwhile dreams of making with "Pamela, Sigourney or Jennifer/A Harley Davidson trip across America," and drives his long-suffering wife to distraction and despair at his inability to help out in the family home. All of these Peculiar treats with affection, and - perhaps it is the ex-mental nurse in him - humour at their eccentricities and the surrealism of their circumstances. It is ironically himself in the more openly autobiographical pieces on 'The Root Mull Affect' that Peculiar conserves any real anger for. He self-castigates himself on ‘Flatter and Deceive’ for leaving his young daughter behind and going off on tour. The hilarious 'Confessions of a Sperm Donor' captures all the clinicalness and faint ridiculousness of providing sperm on demand, but finds Peculiar himself once beating up. "There's a place for you in this world we can never share," he tells his potential future offspring. "And if I'm the one who gave you life by some proximity/I just hope to God that you haven't turned out like me." 'Sometimes I Feel Like a King' is about taking pleasure in the small things in life - meeting up with friends, taking the children to the park, listening to John Coltrane, reading a good book - but its chorus line is similarly barbed. "Sometimes I feel like a king in spite of myself," Peculiar admits. 'The Root Mull Affect' is taken from points throughout Vinny Peculiar's solo career, which first began in 1998. Lyrically it is, of course, superb, but musically it is first-rate as well, mixing together hazy psychedelia, exuberant and catchy pop numbers and the occasional more wistful and downbeat piece. It offers plenty for both those who have been previously unacquainted with Peculiar's work and also for long-term fans. It is simply an excellent album.

Track Listing:-
1 A Vision
2 Jesus Stole My Girlfriend
3 Man About the House
4 Flatter and Deceive
5 Confessions of a Sperm Doner
6 Sometimes I Feel Like a King
7 Lazy Bohemians
8 Dirty Weekend
9 Everlasting Teenage Bedroom
10 The Hairdressers
11 Time for Bed
12 Playing on the Pier
13 Egg Incident
14 My Generation
15 Judy Wood

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Interview (2022)
Vinny Peculiar - Interview
Singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar talks to John Clarkson about his 'three quarters' modern art-themed latest album, 'Artists Only'.
Interview (2020)
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Interview (2014)
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The Image That Made Me Weep (2020)
Vinny Peculiar - The Image That Made Me Weep
In our new series 'The Image That Made Me Weep', we are inviting a different guest with each edition to write of a music image that has had an impact on them. Singer-songwriter Vinny Peculiar writes about a photograph of his uncle Jim Wilkes, who was a trad jazz musician.
Broadcast, Glasgow, 22/9/2016 and Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 23/9/2016 (2016)



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