EP Review: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra – Eta Carinae

We’ve covered a lot of complex, cinematic videos recently but we have to say we’ve got a soft spot for the absurdity and hypnotic simplicity of watching a wall being built in front of a band’s lead singer.

It’s an interesting change of pace for a band that is known for an energetic stage show, as seen recently at The British Country Music Festival. The slow approach allows for a focus on lyrics that are tangentially related to the video: “they say home is where the heart is/but most homes are made of bricks and stone.”

Use of metaphor through the upbeat song shows the humour that the band intertwine with their old-timey originals. There’s a hint of a twang, reflecting the band’s country influences, but also a Beatles-esque vocal sound at times. tbcmf-2019-friday-10-rob-heron-and-the-tea-pad-orchestra-3548-1

Basket Full Of Nothing creeps in like the Pink Panther until gang vocals break any sense of suspense. It combines jazz and blues elements. You’ll struggle to to resist clicking your fingers to this one!

Black Dog is another jazz influenced toe-tapper until a cacophony gives an aural sense of the disorderly depression of which Heron sings.

tbcmf-2019-friday-10-rob-heron-and-the-tea-pad-orchestra-3553-1

Eta Carinae was inspired by a star mentioned in a Brian Cox documentary; personified as female in this incarnation. For a band that largely plays music inspired by the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the 1960s counts as recent. In which case, this is the most modern sounding song on the EP, and it’s charming for it.

tbcmf-2019-friday-10-rob-heron-and-the-tea-pad-orchestra-3480-1

If you’re up North, you can catch the band’s impressive stage show over the next week.

Friday, October 18, 2019: Stereo Cafe Bar, Glasgow
Saturday, October 19, 2019: The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
Friday, October 25, 2019: Old Coal Yard, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Support in Glasgow will be provided by Daniel Meade, who we’ve also featured recently.

Eta Carinae is out now on Tea Pad Recordings on a limited edition (300 copies) vinyl and digital.

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