gullbuy music review

King Of Woolworths


Ming Star


Mantra Recordings


King Of Woolworths reviewed in the gullbuyHailing from Manchester, Jon Brooks releases his debut album under a strange yet appropriate moniker, named after the chain store where one can find toys, candy, books, and music, the simple pleasures of youth.

Featuring a sample of Cut the Dummy Loose by Sean O'Hagan, Bakerloo is the first single off the album and purely embodies the feeling of melancholy, offering a gentle xylophone loop, then acquiring a relaxed, almost lounge-like drum beat overlaid with a Hammond harmony, then giving way to an all-encompassing lazy bass line.

In contrast to Bakerloo, tracks four through six recall those nights when you stayed up late to watch Twilight Zone and horror movies, which inevitably bring on the nightmares that haunt you forever. Stalker Song is the closest to dark experimental techno as King of Woolworths gets, yet the spooky horrifying main dialogue sample is the real grabber (starts three minutes into the song). He manipulates the voices to induce a very creepy effect, especially toward the end, when a police officer repeatedly tells a female battery victim, "You've got to start documenting this or you're gonna end up dead." Chilling!

The follow-up track, Colcannon has great, hard acid beats and wailing keyboards. To the Devil a Donut is similar to Stalker Song, with its sinister Christopher Lee film clip sample (I can't get over hearing the doctor say, "It's morphine, Margaret!" which reminds me of the birthing scene in the Roman Polanski film Rosemary's Baby). The rest of the album is much lighter and mellower, including a reprise of Bakerloo, though I'm definitely more intrigued by the darker songs on this album.

Favs: #2, 4, 5, 6

Teresa, November 13, 2001