Robyn Hitchcock

The Bells of Rhymney

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Robyn Hitchcock produced many short EPs during the 1980's. Some of these are singles showcases that surround the title track with various obscurities, while others consist entirely of non-LP cuts. This release is one of the latter type. The title track is a faithful cover of the Byrds' version of this song, complete with ringing, twangy guitar textures (it is not the same version, however, that appears on the Soft Boys album Two Halves for the Price of One). "Falling Leaves" slows the tempo noticeably, punches the drums up a bit, and adds saxophone and organ to the mix; Hitchcock sings alternately like Bryan Ferry and John Lennon here. Side two contains a pair of selections that are done in the bare-bones "unplugged" manner of his album I Often Dream of Trains. "Winter Love" is a spooky, atmospheric song accompanied only by arpeggiated acoustic guitar, while "The Bones in the Ground" is a perkier tune in a swaying folk-song style that adds mandolin and electric guitar to the texture. Hitchcock performs these two cuts in an agreeably ramshackle fashion reminiscent of Syd Barrett's solo work. This release is a brief, though enjoyable listen.

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