Stanley Brinks returns with his fourth album accompanied by The Wave Pictures, My Ass.
After ‘Gin’ Brinks wasted no time in taking The Wave Pictures straight back to the studio, bright and early, the morning after the final show of their tour, to ensure they lost none of the fire still burning in their hearts from the final night’s drinks. Three playful days and twelve loose, jazzy, tracks later, with Brinks making salubrious use of his new penny-whistle and the assembled studio choir of friends hanging out, embraced into the recordings, he had his camel, ‘My Ass’.
‘My Ass’ is an album born out of Brinks’ life on the road, life as an outsider. It is a celebration of new drinking companions, in new bars, in new towns, every night. The memories of loved ones left at home, of places you can smoke inside and drink warm beer through the night. The shows that you wish could last forever. That island in the sun that keeps bringing you back
‘Wakefield’, the first single has a jazzy flowing bass driving a day in the life of Brinks on tour: a sense of togetherness, a touch of sax and the knowledge that love will act as a shield against all evil.
‘Berlin’ is yet another anthemic Brinks sing-along. Its airy ambivalence celebrates both the freedom and the ensuing pressures of his beloved adoptive hometown.
Press for My Ass
"There's an electricity about their fourth joint album, especially the live-in-the-room playing and Brinks' fallen choirboy vocals. The campfire singalongs Brighton and Berlin dispense boozy wisdom from Brinks' 20-year touring lifestyle, and have an infectious Jonathan Richman-via-Cornershop vibe. Rootsier still, My Camel finds Brinks digging into his Moroccan background with a North African penny whistle, while Fire To My Mind is an irresistible calypso. All told: an absolute joy." Q [4/5]
"Brinks stumbles into leftfield loveliness with elevated fare like 'Fire To My Mind' or 'Think About You', sounding like a junk shop jug-band playing a new strain of Middle Eastern calypso" Uncut [6/10]
"quietly charming" Pitchfork
"There’s no mistaking the unique sound of Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures in every single note on My Ass, but the overall mood seems to be uncharacteristically downbeat. A certain amount of that can, no doubt, be ascribed to the rigours of life on the road, of always acting out the trope of ‘the guitar man’ – and perhaps there’s also a lesson to be learned about hitting the studio the morning after you finish touring – but here the music seems to be tempered with a growing realisation that the sting in the tail of a nomadic life is the intractability of maintaining any kind of long-term, loving relationship. Nevertheless, it’s a powerfully honest album which, when played back-to-back with Gin, creates an almost perfect soundtrack to the humdrum, everyday existence of many people, to the ups and downs of lives lived to the fullest extent possible and, for that alone, My Ass is definitely something to be cherished." Folk Radio
"Stanley and the Wave Pictures are well-matched in producing this playful, lo-fi charmer, which is their fourth album together. Just like Jonathan Richman, he has the ability to take simple ideas and make them profound and cherishable. Even if you can’t keep up with his total output, these collaborations with the Wave Pictures are as good as anything he’s done." Sounds XP
"With Brinks drawing more deeply on his mixed Swedish-Moroccan heritage and his globe-trotting experiences and The Wave Pictures enveloping his songs with a blend of Velvet Underground-meets-Modern Lovers shapes and adaptive accommodation of Brinks’s more exotic tastes, My Ass has a laidback yet studious reach. Whilst Stanley Brinks’ fey tones and deliberately oddball lyrics may still put-off those unaccustomed to his idiosyncratic ways, there’s no denying that there is something undefinably special and life-affirming forged inside this fourth time around trip with The Wave Pictures, which makes its magnetic presence felt with each addiction-inciting airing. A somewhat unexpected pleasure all told." DOA
"a decidedly eclectic affair that ranges from music hall influenced and penny whistle-featuring opener My Camel, the (very) vaguely Johnny Cash meets Lou Reed twang chugger Brighton and the ramshackle sax parping calypso Fire To Mind to the brilliant and insanely infectious mid-tempo calypso gospel Berlin, Think About You, another Egyptian-tinged number about a camel and the titular ass, the breezy jazzy upright bass and cornet (?) swing Wakefield, about getting laid on a rainy day in Yorkshire, and the hybrid snakecharmer/war dance rhythms of With My Chin. Lyrically downbeat (life on the road and relationships don’t go together), but generally musically chipper, it’s a curio for sure, but a hugely enjoyable and toe-tapping one." Roots and Branches
"The songs I like best have a kind of carribean flavour. The best one by miles is ‘My Camel’ which has a bit of an ‘Egyptian Reggae’ flavour and is way more mysterious than anything else here. ‘Fire To My Mind’ too is a bit of sing along fun a bit like the lilt ad. Despite being over 40, Brinks is still ruminating on potential romantic liaisons not working out but from the general tone here I am assured that he has plenty of fun out on the road." Norman Records
"The songs are like jokes made in deadly earnest. They ooze melancholy yet are also replete with a resigned bemusement towards life's transient pleasures. "I'm like an electron, you could say I hardly exist" he muses with no great sadness on Fire To My Mind." Whisperinandhollerin [7/10]
"The album continues to take us on a journey of wonderful songs that the listener can wrap their ears around. One of the many highlights is ‘Berlin’, this is one of those songs where the word perfect does not seem enough; the hooks, melodies, and reflective lyrics will leave a very memorable stamp on those that take the time to listen “We are older than the world we live in”." A Musical Priority
Catch them on their tour, supported by Freschard, at the following dates:
Fri Oct 2nd : CARDIFF - Full Moon Sat
Oct 3rd : PRESTON - Blitz
Sun Oct 4th : EDINBURGH - Teviot Underground
Mon Oct 5th : GLASGOW - Broadcast
Tue Oct 6th : BIRMINGHAM - Hare and Hounds
Wed Oct 7th : LONDON - The Lexington