F A M I L Y
(Lost Map Records)
Having moved from Anstruther to Eigg, former Fence Records mainstay Johnny Lynch has now set up his own imprint, Lost Map Records. Lynch will continue to record as The Pictish Trail, and former Fence acts such as Rozi Plain and Kid Canaveral will join him on the new label. But the honour of becoming its first proper release goes to Monoganon, a Glasgow four-piece fronted by Malmo-based singer-songwriter John McKenna. How does the Scotland-Sweden thing work? Via budget airlines and superfast broadband, presumably. But work it does. On Best Pals, the guitars and drums cluster together to push McKenna's alto-tenor vocals into the background - I'm reminded of Super Furry Animals at their europhoric best - while songs such as Wasted Teens, Easterhouse and closing track Ivory And Tusk are all woozily psychedelic with a strong post-rock flavour. A poised and confident suite of songs, then, from a band with one foot in Fence's nu-folk past and another in whatever brave future they and Lost Map dare to dream up.