Sunday, 29 April 2012

Three Minute Tease - Three Minute Tease

Latest band and album from the criminally unknown Anton Barbeau and pals.

Got a favourite song with the word onion in the title? The Beatles' Glass Onion maybe? Green Onions? What about Cheese And Onions by The Rutles? OK, there's not that many to choose from I guess. Right up there with the best of them is Love Is Onion, the opening track on this eponymous album from Three Minute Tease. A perfectly constructed piece of psych-pop, with spiralling raga guitar scales, mid '60s McCartney bass-line, and best of all, cryptically engaging lyrics that challenge the very notion of what pop music can say, and how it might say it.

Led by Sacramento born songwriter Anton Barbeau, and ably abetted by former Soft Boys Andy Metcalfe (bass) and Morris Windsor (drums), Three Minute Tease are proof that great pop is no longer simply the property of youth. In fact, if anything Barbeau's knack of knocking out ever so slightly lysergic guitar pop has been perfected by years of relative obscurity. He could well be the greatest cult songwriter that you've yet to hear. I previously reviewed Anton Barbeau's career overview compilation Empire Of Potential (to read my review click here). Whereas that album by its very nature was something of a sonic shapeshifter and showcased different eras of Barbeau's long career, this latest album benefits from it's coherent band sound. OK, so it breaks no new ground musically but then why should it? It's sweetly melodic and accessible but spiked by the acidity of Barbeau's top notch lyrics.

It's hard to resist song titles such as the previously mentioned Love Is Onion, Thanks For Lifting My Leg and Sensual Pleasure Of Pie. And with cryptic mentions of Cuban heels, The Beatles, Jan & Dean and Norman Mailer you can be sure you're in the company of a unique songsmith, a rare commodity these days. Like all the best art (and drugs) it may change the way you look at the world, and you may never be the same again. But in a good way, and without a nasty taste in your mouth come morning time.