“Hello, good morning, we’re tossing a coin to begin . . .” The first song of The Duckworth Lewis Method‘s self-titled debut is about, of all things, cricket. Not the magazine, the sport. “Go on and get your pads on,” Neil Hannon says later, “Start the age of revolution.” Okay, so it’s not totally about cricket. There’s some allegory going on here. But it is about the game as well. As is the rest of the entire album(!)
The band offers something different, to be sure. Both in lyrical content and sound: That first song, “The Coin Toss,” bounces around on a reggae beat but shuffles through many styles, vocal effects, swinging horns, and something that sounds like castnets.
Hannon is (was?) also the frontman for another modern psychedelic-weirdness band, The Divine Comedy, and he hasn’t changed a bit. Why do I like this record? It’s hard to say. It is a challenge to like it, because it challenges all assumptions, requires strict attention, and never, ever, asks for your approval. Nor does it pander. But the harmonies and musical lines are fascinating, like watching a flower grow on fast forward. It also reminds me of old, fun Kinks albums, like the vastly underrated Schoolboys In Disgrace, which told stories and had overall themes.
For fans of: Flaming Lips, old Beck, The Kinks.