Here's a diverse and delicious three-track taste of Penny Ikinger's forthcoming album that ticks the boxes on a a form that says: 'Buy this, you fool'.
Penny trades in music that's smeared with guitar feedback but not derived solely out of a blues rock base. There are elements of folk as well as her sultry and increasingly confident vocals. The effect is to take the music outside the usual pub rock/straight pop idiom (although both are part of it.)
The title track of this sampler pushes in an new direction with a string intro that sets things up for a soap commercial or an ethereal pop ballad. Of course first impressions are often deceptive; scuzzy guitar and a massive Clare Moore beat kick in before Deniz Tek rips out an unearthly solo that would vapourize Superman at 20 paces.
"Memories Remain" couples Penny and Ron Peno in a dark, swirling vocal folk dance. Slivers of guitar parry and thrust against an edgy duet that builds and subsides. Why Ronnie doesn't indulge himself and do a solo album of his own is a mystery but this song's the next best thing until he does. An inspired partnership.
"All Tomorrow's Parties" might be an obvious cover after a review that described you as "Nico de-frosted" but it's also well rendered with Charlie Owen's sitar perfectly placed as a foil to Penny's petulant guitar. The French engine room of Dimi Dero and bassist Vinz Guilluy nail the original's dignified plod to a tee. Lou Reed might be too up himself to pass judgement but John Cale would probably approve. - The Barman