“Adreneline and Richard
carried sticks in the forest
the forest was great and it was a great forest
with mouths dumb with nonchalance
and eyes kindled with lies
the house was to be a big one
a castle of stone men
roaming to and from as if lost of the way…”
Pip Proud, an Australian troubadour who seemed to emerge fully-formed from a book of nursery rhymes or a magical imaginary land with his goblin like looks and his lullaby vocals.
The songwriter released his debut album in 1968 and was later pegged the Australian Syd Barrett, although both his records were released prior to Syd’s. Their styles indeed bear some similarities, songs that all contain quirky little stories and thoughtful lyrics that can provide eternal musings.
Lovers of lo-fi stoned out music, this is right up your alley. Listening to Adreneline & Richard in 2015 is refreshing as it sounds strangely retro and also somehow dislocated in time. If you dislike monotone vocals, you most likely won’t be enamored with Pip Proud’s “singing”. Oddly enough, his narration is almost metronomically hypnotic, it gives comfort to the listener’s mind, making them feel like they are the only one Proud is telling his tales to. It may remind some of Television Personalities’ mastermind Dan Treacy’s phrasing.
The songwriter had an unhappy childhood and in the light of his tunes, one can easily imagine that his mind and imagination were his escape at the time. He retained his child soul, though, which makes his songs quintessentially quirky.
This Australian's tunes are colorful and paisley-patterned, they contain more detail than one notices at first, getting down to them is one of the perks of listening to the record as besides its enchanting atmosphere, it carries tongue-in-cheek and in depth poetic content, which makes the lyrics peculiar. The elements are part and parcel of it, one can fully appreciate the cosmic, sunkissed and lackadaisical side of Adreneline & Richard, yet there remains a bittersweetness and acid flavor to Pip Proud’s storytelling. Weird little pieces of life that get more twisted are a specialty of his.
Enter the man’s kingdom at your own risk, you will either want out upon arrival or will want to settle down there and eat its houses made of gingerbread space cake.
“Father grumbling explains tea is late
the plates are cold and forehead bare
upon some imagined steed
upon the smoke he curls
the knight in armour unwhirls
and freaklike breaks as cake.”
Adreneline & Richard was reissued on Superior Viaduct.