It's Just The Way Things Are Joe, It's Just The Way Things Are

Guardians of freeform twin-guitar ecstasy [I]in excelsis[/I], Edinburgh's [B]The Nectarine No 9[/B] have been the dreamchild of ex-[B]Fire Engines[/B]' [B]Davey Henderson[/B] since 1993....

Guardians of freeform twin-guitar ecstasy in excelsis, Edinburgh's The Nectarine No 9 have been the dreamchild of ex-Fire Engines' Davey Henderson since 1993. Splattering his inchoate muse across various albums and singles (plus 'My Personal Culloden', the band's lauded collaboration with courageously marinated poet Jock Scot), 'Its Just The Way...' serves as some kind of 'Greatest Hits', the vaguest of maps to the most (gladly) wayward of talents.

Inevitably working on a different musical frequency from much of the Scottish underground, The Nectarine No 9 eschew Slint-isms and glad-hearted power pop in favour of a grimy, bejewelled flavour of NYC cool; of Velvets, of Voidoids, of unabashed smarts. Not that Henderson's vision is ever coldly classicist or over-reverent; the bleeding heart beating at the centre of 'Walter Tevis' and 'She's A Nicer Word To Sing' prove these are much more than simple genre-exercises.

There's a deliciously fried, poetic sensibility at work here, present in the lyrics' restless cut-up wisdom, and in songs like 'The Port Of Mars', channelling the free-ranging melodic expansiveness of Sun Ra with the cool, spiralling guitar work of prime Television.

If there's a timelessness to Henderson's richly embellished illuminations, then it's because intelligent, arty rock'n'roll as deft as this never goes out of fashion. And we'll always make time for genius.
8 / 10

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