Bullish, Bellyache & Belch

(Emperor Penguin)

The Bolshoi was a 80s Goth band hailing from Leeds, England which released two albums to modest attention and acclaim. Trevor Tanner functioned as the frontman for this short-lived group and returned to the limelight last year with this solo debut.

And how!

A 3 CD set certainly indicates no lack of confidence in one’s own abilities. Well and good, but so much material does present a challenge to reviewers and critics and one wonders if Tanner and his label figured on writers leaving Bullish, Bellyache & Belch on the shelf due to its sheer ambition.

Having only just gotten to listen to it, all I feel is regret and no small measure of guilt. Pure & simple, these 3 CDs are individually and collectively a masterpiece. If I’d listened to it when I should have (i.e. 2004) it would have had no difficulty in making my top ten albums of that year.

Ah well.

Let’s just say that if you’re even a casual listener of British pop-rock, then this set is absolutely essential. Tanner’s remarkable achievement is being able to present 41 (count ‘em!) tracks with an amazingly high quality. Memorable melodies, pristine instrumentation and all the right moves and nuances. Fans of Robyn Hitchcock, Echo & the Bunnymen, John Langford (Mekons) & Julian Cope will warm to Tanner's considerable talents immediately.

I cannot even begin to choose between the 3 discs – you can put any single one into your player and experience the same level of pleasure and enjoyment. I understand that Tanner is readying a new release very soon. Can hardly wait… A+