Pulco – Americana UK Review

An awesome review from Americana UK of Pulco’s Small Thoughts:

Homework with Ash Cooke and his wonderful imagination

“Ash Cooke has been releasing home recorded albums under the Pulco moniker for almost a decade now. Having previously been a member of John Peel-approved rockers Derrero, who toured with the likes of Grandaddy, Sebadoh and Super Furry Animals in the ‘90s, he’s made a complete retreat into glorious solitude now.

From the felt-tip adorned, fold-up paper cover, to the clicking of analogue drum machines and lo-fi synths, everything on this album retains its genuine DIY homemade feel. Taking ‘found’ sounds from everything as far and wide as toy instruments to iPhone Apps, and household objects the likes of ‘Machines /Mind’ recalls a Charlatans melody over the top of a riot of 80s computer game sounds. Modern ‘folk’ music if you will.

The main songs on the album, which are melodically rich and adventurous, despite their odd but interesting settings, are interspersed by numerous scene setting spoken word pieces and poetry grafted to atmospheric soundscapes (‘Oxbow Lake’, and ‘A Self mad Man’s telling “Dont tell me what art is and isn’t…” quote) which are given equal credence to the pop songs.

An indulgent collection of exploration, mistakes, inspiration, and happy accidents doesn’t cover up the fact that Cooke has some wonderfully melodic tunes hidden behind the esoteric coverings such as the wonderfully psychadelic ‘Place Lid on Me’, the dream-like ‘Bean Bags’, and the lullaby of ‘Nightowls’ which appear and swiftly vanish like beguiling inconclusive dreams. Elsewhere, drowning fantasy ‘Return to Undersea Adventure’s dark swirling dream of reversed atmospheric noises and guitars dripping in tremolo is a disturbing treat, while the surprising ‘Data Perils’ features a fuller band sound, resembling the likes of Grandaddy at full tilt.

‘Small Thoughts’ is a Technicolor sketchbook of ideas and whimsical exploration, some fully realised but mostly left intriguingly open ended. After seven albums down this road there’s no reason for Cooke to alter his M.O now, you just have to dive in and join him on his ramshackle ride.”
– Ian Fildes, Americana UK, 02 August 2011

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