Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band - 'Artorius Revisited EP'
Seven years in the making, the cult Liverpool songwriter's new album was well worth the wait
Michael Head’s first new release in seven years begins in a very un-Michael Head fashion: 30 seconds of strobing synth loops and brittle programmed beats that makes you wonder if Liverpool’s routinely lost songwriting genius (formerly of Shack and The Pale Fountains) has ‘found himself’ in electronica. Then the exquisite ‘Cadiz’ waltzes into being, and the old equilibrium is restored. If four new songs, plus a couple of instrumental snippets, feels like a meagre reward after such a long absence, you can console yourself with the fact that the songs themselves are pretty much flawless. “You’re gonna need better wood to crucify me”, he cries on ‘Lucinda Byre’, a reminder that you’re in the presence of a man whose talent is so luminous, all the bad luck in the world has been unable to dim it.