Advance Base – Nephew In The Wild
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone's Owen Ashworth returns to his Advance Base moniker for a second album, following 2012’s A Shut-In’s Prayer. The electro sheen of his previous incarnation still lingers, but for all the schmancy electronics on display, country is the order of the day, all slow-burning chord progressions with a heavy hearted resignation underpinning his second-person narratives.
This proves key to Nephew In The Wild’s addictively understated magic: Ashworth’s conversational tone and cracked California burr give the air of a barfly raconteur reading yellowed journal entries to strangers. Uncles who buy Danzig records for errant nephews (the elegant title track); disastrous Ouija board dalliances (Summon Satan)… the avalanche of moribund detail somehow becomes compelling, illustrating a gnawing sense of isolation without ever addressing it directly. Nephew certainly isn't devoid of forgettable moments, but with the lights dim enough and the booze strong enough, you may just find yourself bewitched.