MICKO & THE MELLOTRONICS have announced their upcoming debut album: ‘½ dove – ½ pigeon’ – out 27th November 2020, via Landline Records. Pre-order the vinyl LP on the Rough trade website or pre-order the digital download on Bandcamp.
“I titled the record ‘½ Dove – ½ Pigeon’ because I thought it was an honest reflection on how most people see themselves…” muses Micko of the record’s intriguing title. Tongue firmly in cheek, it’s an early indicator that this is a record of a different breed.
Packed with Jarvis-esque lyrical quips, wry humour and a gleeful sense of experimentation, ‘½ dove – ½ pigeon’ takes us into the idiosyncratic mind of Micko Westmoreland; a musician, actor and creative. Signed to Trent Reznor’s nothing records in the early noughties, Westmoreland is already well known for his releases as The Bowling Green and under his solo moniker. As the Mellotronics, he finds a kindred writing spirit in Jon Klein; the esteemed guitarist and co-producer renowned for his work with Specimen, Siouxsie and the Banshees and scoring a #1 album in 2019 with Fangoria, a Spanish political pop act on Warner Music.
From the observational to the personal, Westmoreland is a songwriter unafraid to put some of the world’s peculiarities and his own fascinations under the microscope and on ‘½ dove – ½ pigeon’ he offers ruminations on a kaleidoscopic gamut of topics. Tracks such as explosive opener “Noisy Neighbours”, previous single ”‘The Finger” and “Sick & Tired” (the first track penned for the record) find Westmoreland blowing apart the petty and mundane in life with rollicking ripostes. Elsewhere, the likes of “You Killed My Father”, “Psychedelic Shirt” & “Good Friend” find time for reflections on the passing of time and of bygone eras; technicoloured in their time paradoxes, rather than sepia-tinted with a sense of nostalgia, these are songs packed with “an emotional quality, but one that goes easy on the violins & dressing” jokes Micko.
Matching their infectious art-punk sound with lyrics that are erudite and entertaining, Westmoreland crams in innumerable references to pop-culture, philosophy, history and more throughout. From punk-rock ditties about Filipino dictators (“Imelda”) to philosophical fantasies about the work of eminent psychologist Georg Eifert (“The Fear”) and life imitating art in New York City (“Halcyon Days”), the record is an education of the most eccentric and electrifying kind.
‘½ dove – ½ pigeon’ is the first release in which Westmoreland is joined by his impressive backing band: The Mellotronics. Forming in 2017, the Mellotronics initially began playing out as a three-piece with founding member Nick Mackay (drums) and the enigmatic addition of Vicky Carroll (band “wicket keeper” and bass player) in the wings. Making steady headway on what would become their debut album, a chance encounter in 2018 with revolutionary guitarist Jon Klein, founder of the iconic Batcave club would prove to be a pivotal moment. As Klein and Westmoreland hit upon an instant and stimulating creative chemistry from the off, ‘½ Dove – ½ Pigeon’ began to really take flight both live and in the studio.
A stellar array of special guest musicians and songwriters also crop-up throughout the record. The Specials’ bassist Horace Panter (a friend & collaborator who has worked with Micko on an annual charity record alongside Rat Scabies for the last 7 years) contributes to ‘The Finger’ and ‘Sick & Tired’, plus the late Monty Python/The Rutles/Bonzos great: Neil Innes lets his playing skills shine on “You Killed My Father”. Elsewhere horn impresario Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey/Madness/Nick Cave) and alternative violinist in excelsis Dylan Bates (Waiting On Dwarfs/Penge Triangle), bring ample amounts of horror to creepy curve-ball cut: ‘The Fear’.
An album of slick new wave and razor-edged rock’n’roll, packed with even sharper quips and bone-dry witticisms; ‘½ dove – ½ pigeon’ invites you to revel in the obtuse and celebrate pop’s avant garde with a novel and inclusive sense of fun. While quite happy to leave convention and commonality at the door, it’s a record that always knows not to take itself too seriously but with a point. The world is surely serious enough right now…
Micko & The Mellotronics release ‘½ dove – ½ pigeon’ into the wild on 27 November 2020, available via Landline Records and distributed by Republic of Music. Represented by Sonic pr – http://sonicpr.co.uk/artists/micko-the-mellotronics/