Adam Stafford – Taser Revelations

Album Review by Chris Buckle | 26 Feb 2016
Album title: Taser Revelations
Artist: Adam Stafford
Label: Song, By Toad
Release date: 11 Mar

Taser Revelations promises shock and awe in its title, and delivers on the latter. After 2013’s subtly transformational Imaginary Walls Collapse, Adam Stafford’s third LP of experimental pop embraces the 'pop' end of the scale more tightly than ever – though not so tight as to squeeze out the maverick ingenuity at the core of his best work.

The opening trio of tracks demonstrates Stafford’s versatility as both songwriter and performer. There are echoes of mid-90s R.E.M. in the distorted guitars and downbeat croon of Let A Little Love Inside; steel drums bring calypso sparkle to Phantom Billions; and Atheist Money pitches falsetto over syncopated beats – each one distinct, each perfectly realised. Later the mood darkens, with Railway Trespassers particularly unsettling thanks to percussive hisses and ominous organ groans.

Yet it’s delicately sad closer The Penumbra that’s most likely to haunt when the disc stops spinning; one last affirmation that there’s more to Stafford’s talents than loop pedal wizardry.

Playing Summerhall, Edinburgh on 11 Mar and Hug & Pint, Glasgow on 21 Mar