Angus Crowne and the Family Jewels New Album ‘Unobservant Idiot’

Angus Crowne and the Family Jewels utilizes a wry observational humor with “Unobservant Idiot”. With a dreamy woozy disposition, the whole of the album has a surreal blurred beauty to it reminiscent of Lambchop’s tender output. Warm and inviting while maintaining a clear punk attitude, the album could be best described as a twee polite punk. Easily the highlight of the album comes from the incredible lyricism. Vocals convey the duality of the lyricism, proving to be incredible storytellers, as they sketch fine vignettes about individuals in the best possible way.

Instrumentally vibrant the songs have a laid-back, shaggy dog quality to them. Never rushing things, they choose to let it all sprawl out in a pitch perfect fashion. The album incorporates a wide variety of styles into the mix, going from the blues to classic rock to a broken-down sort of psychedelic pop. By outright refusing to be easily pigeonholed they forge their own path allowing everything to sort of sprawl out into the infinite. With the weird yet intimate quality of their delivery at times they also recall the alternative approach of early Meat Puppets.

Glistening tones introduce the album with the surreal slowed down surf rock of “Baby, Baby”. Things evolve in a gorgeous fashion on the strangely giddy work of “Doing Dishes”. A spry rhythm keeps it all centered even as it all melts away. Impossible to categorize is the delightfully bouncing “Harold Q. Le Bough”. Rather inviting in tone is the lovely gentleness of “One & Two”. Jazzy guitar anchors the strange “Snickerdoodle Girl” which grows increasingly more and more bizarre. By far the highlight of the album comes with the title track “Unobservant Idiot” where the arrangement feels so dense. Building up in a majestic way is the sheer physicality of “Until I Meet You” whose yearning desire feels so palpable. Perfectly bringing the whole of the album to a colossal close is the wild, unhinged groove of “Walking In LA” which again displays their playful biting humor.

Full of life and vigor, Angus Crowne and the Family Jewels crafts a timeless sound with “Unobservant Idiot”.