- 26 May 23
Eclectic effort from Irish maverick
On album opener ‘The Wheels Come Off’, Caoilian Sherlock – sounding not unlike Lemonhead main man Evan Dando – asks, “You say you have nine lives, which one are you going to do?” It’s a pertinent question, one which Sherlock, who has worn more than a few hats – potato picker, flea market huckster, Harry Potter character actor – is more than qualified to answer.
‘The Wheels Come Off’ distills vintage lo-fi Americana, its languid lead solo and drowsy vocal breezing summer. Title track ‘Teenage Jesus’ shines a sunny psychedelic soul groove through the smudged windows of Elliott Smith lounges in East LA, Sherlock breathing, “We all like to see the underdog win”, which is simply mighty.
The ponderous squelch of ‘Shades Of You’ comes complete with Pavement croak and Daniel Johnston clonk, together oozing a wonderful dreamy gunk. On ‘Nancy & Lee’, Sherlock stitches Sinatra & Hazelwood firmly to his sleeve on a smooth waltz, with cherry-on-top doo-wop cooing. ‘Push Away The Oil’, meanwhile, veers into the soul side of country, bordering Gram Parsons territory.
Elsewhere, ‘Don’t Let Me Forget About Her’ brings to mind mid-noughties Dublin band Hal, while ‘Surgery Bell’ is a Lemon Twigs playbox caper of psychedelic gizmos and arcade glam. The indie-folk stomp of ‘Sucker For Love’ even comes complete with the fine Irish self-deprecating line,“I’m a pain in the hole”. A wonderfully diverse debut album.