After recording the as yet unreleased Playboys In
The Bush album with a full band, The Puddle mainman
George D. Henderson (guitars, piano, keyboards, bass, vocals,
songs) recorded yet more songs at his brother Ian's studio,
with the latter (who is also drummer of labelmates The
Dark Beaks) guesting on drums on this, the first Puddle
album since the early 90s.
No Sequels sets the tone immediately with its lo-fi, almost shambolic feel which brings to mind bands like The Pastel and early Orange Juice. The latter come to mind again on I've Lost My Way In This World as it finds Henderson sounding like a young Edwyn Collins and whilst Henderson isn't blessed with the greatest voice, there is something endearing about it.
It certainly suits the stand-out track Hudibras, with its piano and fuzzy guitar providing a perfect backdrop to a nagging and vaguely familiar melody. It sounds like some sad 70s-ish lament, and has got something of a classic feel about it somehow. It's like the Velvets attempting Todd Rundgren's I Saw The Light!
Other highlights include The Sorry Bus, with its catchy "I'm Sorry" chorus, Love
In Blues Minor which mines a similar 60s territory to The Coral, and The
Beast With which opens with a David Watt-like riff. The album closes
with Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, which is the one non-original song
on No Love – No Hate. Written by John D. Loudermilk, it's got
the early 60s written all over it, and like the rest of this album it's an
enjoyable listen. And credit due to Fishrider Records, too, as they state
they're "dedicated to releasing occasional albums by local artists who play
unfashionable melodic jangling pop songs with little commercial potential".
That sentence probably sums up this album. Long may they continue.