Imaginary Yorkshire villages, grottily-sensuous recitative (touch of Exotic Pylon Weird Tales for Halloween too), retro-futuristic, nostalgie de bureaucracie... etc etc
Owls, for fuck's sake! This is flashing me back on that Goldfrapp album.
And witches - a bleedin' concept album about the Pendle Coven!
from a review of their latest album at Quietus
"Johnny Rocket, Narcissist and Music Machine... I'm Your Biggest Fan is the fourth album to land from The Eccentronic Research Council. It finds them now masters of their initially uncertain style - a blend of proto-electronic poppy synths, darkly gothic themes, confusing psychedelic atmospheres, and spoken word storytelling, for the most part spewing from the powerhouse of Peake. Adrian Flanagan, Dean Honer and Maxine Peake's first album, 1612 Underture, was a series of loose knit chapters following the story of the Pendle Witches along with the modern day North, while The Dreamcatcher Tapes strung together retold dreams from a series of uncredited guests (including a certain "John") in near-Blue Jam-esque style. Last year's self-released Magpie Billy & The Egg That Yolked (A Study Of The Northern Ape In Love) explored the goings on in a house inhabited by two 'apes'. The themes and tales have all been potent, yet at times, only roughly sketched. Johnny Rocket however, plays to the all of the ERC's strengths, and ties it all together with a single cohesive, and oddly compelling story. According to Adrian Flanagan in the ERC's recent tQ interview with John Doran, with Johnny Rocket, he "wanted to write an LP for the music fan in us all".
For the opening scene we find ourselves dropped in Valhalla Dale, a (fictional) town on the outskirts of Sheffield. We're welcomed by Maxine Peake's demonic narration atop blasts of synthesised brass and choirs, a snare heavy beat, and distant notes phasing like detritus from theForbidden Planet soundtrack picked up by extra-terrestrial lifeforms and beamed right back at us. 'Introducing The Moonlandingz' has a jaunty melody lifted straight from Look And Read school of murky synth wizardry. The angry meeting with Rocket on 'You Ruined My Chippy Thursday' has Flanagan and Honer rust up an aging pre-war big brass band sample and blur it into a slow-moving synth march. At times, it sounds akin to the likes of Pye Corner Audio and the Ghost Box Music camp, but the trippy journey the album takes, as the narrator grows increasingly disturbed, takes in a vast range of sounds. 'I Spy On J. Rocket & Other Lame Attempts At Leaving Him Alone' again contextualises those primary school synths with a mimicked techno beat, while several abstract instrumental interludes seem to mirror Peake's madness, with distant mellotron flutes, or the buzzing bleeping Radiophonic synth modules of 'Claptrap Dreams'....."