The Scaramanga Six - 'The Terrifying Dream' (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 03:20

scarasixcover300It's hard to believe that Huddersfield oddballs The Scaramanga Six have been around for twenty odd years playing their self-proclaimed 'Evil Pop'. Even odder to think many reading this will not have heard them or even be aware of their existence. I have been aware of their existence for a while due to the influence of a certain Ginger Wildheart but I only heard their music and witnessed them live for the first time 12 months ago.


Led by twin brothers Paul and Steven Morricone, The Scaramanga Six defy being pigeon-holed in any one category by playing music that sounds like... well, The Scaramanga Six. It's a no brainer that a self-sufficient, DIY band with a small loyal fan base should turn to PledgeMusic for their latest studio album.


Following in the footsteps of all the other Ginger-related bands (for those who don't know the connection you need a slap then get google-ing, I shouldn't need to explain it!) their Pledge campaign hit its target in under 16 hours and fans were treated to three EPs prior to the release of this 8th album, 'The Terrifying Dream', a concept album of sorts with a loose theme based on recurring nightmares.


Man, where do I start with this? The Scaramanga Six are a veritable musical melting pot and their sound is hard to pin point which is great. I can see why people mention The Cardiacs but there's also nods to The Talking Heads, Iggy Pop's early solo stuff and a good dose of Zappa madness going on, but above all else their catchy melodies will haunt your head.


The irresistible power pop of 'The Man Who Couldn't Sing' and the over catchy 'Seven Chances' are absolutely essential listening and will have you wondering just where you've heard that before and why you haven't had this band in your life until now.


The spooky 'Staring At The Accident', with its lone whistle and observational lyrics, comes on like a Burt Bacharach classic and lush ELO harmony vocals and horns flow all over the excellent 'Out Of My Tiny Mind'.


A more alternative, new wave sound comes from the likes of 'Arabella' and 'Tempest', a song that sounds like vintage Iggy Pop. When guitarist Julia Arnez takes lead vocals on 'The Outsider' it brings to mind Hazel O'Conner in 'Breaking Glass'.


And if that's not diverse enough for you then just take 8 and a half minutes out your life for 'The Citadel'. The cinematic epic comes on like some twisted Danny Elfman score, from the eerie piano introduction, to distortion and the pumpkin king like chant, onto a Bowie styled verse before it goes from 'Flash' era Queen to galloping Maiden in the blink of an eye. There should be enough influences going on there to captivate anybody.


Like fellow Northerners The Eureka Machines, The Scaramanga Six work day jobs and do their own PR, yet they attract big name helpers. Tim Smith from The Cardiacs has helped put on previous work and last album, 'Phantom Head', was produced by none other than the legendary Steve Albini.


The Scaramanga Six are an acquired taste and their dark humour and proggy styled 'out there' music may be too diverse for some but 'The Terrifying Dream' is a dramatic sounding, post-punk rock opera and it's about as accessible as the band can get. They continue to make music that is both challenging and vital sounding and it's really quite fantastic actually.


To pick up your copy of 'The Terrifying Dream' - CLICK HERE