Album cover for How I learned to love the freaks by Vinny Peculiar

The 13th studio album from Worcester, artist Vinny Peculiar (aka Alan Wilkes).

Since picking up the album for review I’ve found myself going down a ‘Vinny Rabbit hole’. The Cd has been played in the car pretty much continuously; videos for the album have been viewed multiple times and I’ve found myself streaming most of Vinny’s previous albums and sharing his music with friends. This album is beautifully presented, with photography/design from Paul Cliff and portrait by Andy Squiff.

The album consists of 10 absolutely gorgeous tracks that have a sound reminiscent of the great bands of the 90s: Suede, Wedding Present, Babybird and most obviously Pulp (Jarvis Cocker). The album is storytelling at its absolute finest with some tracks having a spoken word vocal not dissimilar to Leonard Cohen or Lou Reed in places. One of my particular favourites is the album’s title track, “How I learned to love the freaks”, which has a Beautiful South vibe. The vocals sounded like one of my favourites -Yard Act. The gorgeous “Peter and the Rainbow”, I just loved the musicianship on all the tracks, but this one in particular stood out.

Vinny is accompanied throughout by Dave Draper (Bass/Synth guitar) who also produced this masterpiece and Rob Steadman (Electric piano) with backing vocals from Leah Wilkes. Videos for five of the tracks can be found on YouTube and are well worth a view especially the trippy “Flowerpower” and the amazingly beautiful “Death of a Counter Culture”.

Vinny’s style takes the form of a social Commentary, with sumptuous storytelling that mixes 60s/90s vibes into an incredible tasty ‘audio pie for the ears’. I can’t praise this album enough -it’s a pleasure to finally be on the Vinny Peculiar journey and he’s most definitely become a firm favourite of mine.

Release Dat: Friday 15th Sept
Shadrack & Duxbury RecordsGatefold CD, 12’ Vinyl, Digital Download, Streaming
Available to order online, Bandcamp and upon release Spotify.

By: Steve Cash

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