Stanley Brinks is joined by The Wave Pictures for their third album together; their first since 2010’s ‘Another One Just Like That’.
Recorded entirely live in the studio, without headphones or overdubs, and with a good deal of improvisation, ‘Gin’ is a modern-sounding, in a way avant-garde, old school recording of text-driven songs. The Wave Pictures didn't get a chance to learn the songs before the session, Stan having forgotten to put a stamp on the demo tape he'd sent them from Berlin.
To anyone familiar with Stanley Brinks' huge discography - more than 100 albums - ‘Gin’ might sound considerably more raw and less sophisticated than some of his previous recordings. However this body of work remains rich in jazzy sounds and original structures, the songs looser and full of playfulness, the lyrics encapsulating their essence.
It goes without saying that Gin - the drink - was the inspiration for the album; while writing, and while recording.
Press for Gin
"a set that's as wistful and charming as it is playful and self-concious" Uncut [8/10]
"The Wave Pictures' classy post-punkish bite is a great foil to Brinks' whimsy on these unhinged, loose-limbed story songs. Sometimes gin makes you win as much as sin." NME [6/10]
"typically rich in a variety of sounds and structures; the songs are looser, more playful and all the more endearing because of it" Loud and Quiet
"This is nerve-jangling, hard-surfaced, soft-centred funny, shot through with sadness. The new Lost Boys, the Unlikliest Lads." Rock n Reel [4/5]
"a joyous and celebratory record which crackles and sparkles with a joie de vivre which is sadly lacking from all too many of Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures’ contemporaries" Folk Radio
"Gin rises above the swiftness of its creation, thanks to these few detours that Brinks and The Wave Pictures take around their usual territory. The fact that the catchiest track from this session – the single ‘Orange Juice’ – is not included just underlines that these guys seem to seamlessly slot together when they hit the studio" Drowned In Sound
"The album is deceptively simple but has real depth and quality and the artists spark off each other; the Wave Pictures are skilled at what they do (David Tattersall fires off all sorts of fast and sharp solos) while Stanley Brinks, first with Herman Dune and now on his own, shows that he can twist a melody until it squeals with anguish. When the two parts come together as ‘Gin’, it’s a refreshing pick-me-up; a tonic in fact…" SoundsXP
"there are lead guitar breaks which are loud and clean, like a messy second-grunge-era approximation of the great early electric guitarists from the '50s like Les Paul and Jimmy Bryant, real nimble but a bit anarchic too" Norman Records [8/10]
"‘Parking Lots”’has a classic Wave Pictures groove, but ‘No Goodbyes’ has a brooding intensity I don't automatically associate with them. Instead of the dizzying guitars, a single chord is thrashed over and over. Brinks' vocal sound winsome, but with a knowing creepiness, as he spits out “I know better than to think too much”. Johnny Helm's furious drumming steals the show as the song draws to its end. 'Gin' reaches a delightful conclusion with the sweet ballad, “Not to Kiss You”, where Brinks writes sadly of a non-quite love affair, around a melody that could have fallen off Dylan's 'Blonde On Blonde'. It's a delightful end to an invigorating record." Penny Black Music
"human, imperfect and with mistakes that aren't ironed out but laid bare to be accepted rather than ridiculed. It's shambolic – yes, but still full of energy and lyrical idiosyncrasies that shine through" Americana UK
"Brinks’ adds an earnest and romantic edge as compared to The Wave Pictures’ slightly more irreverent stance, with drunken recollection seeming to inform his storytelling." Drunken Werewolf
"Gin exercises its creator’s idiosyncrasies more successfully, and, as on their previous two secondments, The Wave Pictures prove nicely suited to the record’s loose, improvisational style." The Skinny [3/5]
"There is a wonderful naïve feel to the album, more impressionistic than precise. It has an intensity like Gauguin, bright and colourful but still with that all is not right in paradise feel." Fatea Magazine
"punctuated by ripping guitar solos that sound like they’ve been recorded though a rusty tin can. In a good way" Is This Music [9/10]
"The result is as it should be: an honest, raw album that perfectly illustrates the journey musicians make while creating it. A staggeringly good album that’s definitely worth a place on your shelf." Outline Online [9/10]
"Gin [is] a fitting title for an album brimming with snickered lyrics and tipsy melodies" The Big Takeover
"the gentle bounce of ‘Max In The Elevator’ is infectiously pretty, the call and response vocals of ‘Parking Lots’ inherently hummable, and closing track ‘Not To Kiss You’ is all elegant romance." Subba Culture [6/10]
"Brinks relies on good old-fashioned narrative to get his message across, in songs reminiscent of Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, or the post-punk of David Thomas and Pere Ubu." Tasty Fanzine
"an album of riotous joy-bringing." York Press
"gentle and evocative rock" Peterborough Telegraph