Robyn Hitchcock sought out some old friends to record his new album, Ole! Tarantula, and he found the Venus 3: Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin. By enlisting "3/4s of the Minus 5 and half of R.E.M," Hitchcock has created what he calls, "the rockingest record I've made in years." While the album roars with the garage-fueled energy of his Soft Boys days, Hitchcock's lyricism continues to drive his songs. The New York Times says, "[His songs] bridge the psychedelia of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and the archetypal English 'nonsense' of Edward Lear," and Rolling Stone says, "Robyn Hitchcock's songs are a lot like the genetic code: they're tough to crack, but the secret of life is in there somewhere." Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 will be touring in the fall of 2006. Digipak.
In 30 years of recording with the Soft Boys and solo-wise, Robyn Hitchcock's enduring brand of madcap mayhem has raced between English punk, acoustic folk and sonically lush pop. But by teaming with Seattle pals Pete Buck (REM) and Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5), Hitchcock has made a return to garage rock not heard since 1989's Queen Elvis. More than capable musicians, Buck and McCaughey are long-time fans of the legendary British songwriter-whose droll lyrics and quirky melodies recall the late Syd Barrettand they grasp the assignment with aplomb. Buck's indelible guitar instills a chiming luster to songs like "Underground Sun" and "Red Locust Frenzy," while McCaughey provides a random, finger-snapping piano to the delightful "Belltown Ramble," which finds Hitchcock serving as the clever hobnobbing tour guide of his favorite Emerald City neighborhood. As usual, a sharp cockney twang is Hitchcock's best instrument, carving up the scatty title song as aptly as his ode to San Francisco "(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs" or his salute to "NY Doll," late bassist Arthur Kane. --Scott Holter