Nicholas Allbrook – “Ganough, Wallis And Fatuna” – Across The Ocean

Nicholas Allbrook – “Ganough, Wallis And Fatuna”

Nicholas Allbrook ruminates on guilt, innocence and obedient psychedelic clouds (yep) in his debut solo album Ganough, Wallis and Fatuna.

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It’s a sprawling opus that possibly takes a couple of listens to fall in love with but don’t fight it. Once hypnotised by this sonic kaleidoscope there’s no denying the pull of the multi-instrumental enigma behind the likes of Tame Impala, Pond and Mink Mussel Creek.

Crashing symbols introduce themselves at the album’s opening and aren’t shy with their recurring presence throughout, as Tramadol With Fear sets the tone for reverb-drenched psychedelia. Allbrook’s voice bleeds through murky layers of synth, pacing hauntingly against a wobbly, understated melody. The dark atmosphere is written beautifully, paving the way for ITTTME to surge through acidically on a quiet/loud mission. Tame Impala/Pond alumni Cam Avery is featured here on drums that shatter against searing, effected guitars.

The spasmodic play of calm versus chaos within the one track is an oft repeated trait with Pretty Story and Whispers of Beauty continuing in this vain. Structure throughout Ganough, Wallis and Fatuna takes on an unconventional life of it’s own so the ability to let go of preconceived notions of what a song should be is paramount to enjoyment.

Released as the first official album single, 100 k’s ‘round Carmel doesn’t tarnish the run of cryptic song titles and associated press alludes to a guilt-laden story about death or ghosts. It’s difficult to be sure. Nonetheless this track is mint Allbrook with his high-pitched voice carrying the closest thing to a chorus in this set; “I don’t wanna feel that again, selfish and uncaring, guilt’s a fucken awful pain”.

Randolph Stevens absolutely whispers for almost a full minute before it really kicks in but the little sounds that flicker through this period feel almost like soft alien transmissions and there’s something a little bit Bowie going on here. Riplui is delivered via a tumbling tribal beat courtesy of Allbrook’s mate Evelyn Morris (Pikelet) and the eerie, otherworldly tone continues. Inspired by a dream Allbrook had where he could summon a pink cloud to carry him over a demon-littered path this track sounds every bit as trippy as it’s origins.

At only nine tracks long, Ganough, Wallis and Fatuna takes us on a journey that seems epic beyond it’s length. Despite its confrontational, eccentric antics (or perhaps because of them) it’s an impressive, experimental rummage even deeper into the psyche-pop genre that Allbrook followers love and should be digested with a suitably open mind.

Kat Gilbert

Kat Gilbert

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kat Gilbert comes to ATO with no further credentials than a love of live music and a passion for penning her two cents worth.

When Kat’s not catching a gig you can find her pondering the meaning of life at her graphic design day job or taking long walks on the beach in fluffy pink moccasins.
Kat Gilbert