Another day and another piece of vinyl arrives in the mail, although this time it’s too big to be forced through the letterbox. No, it’s a 10″ split single featuring River of Slime and (pause for dramatic effect) …  new material from Malcolm Middleton.

Malcolm first.

‘Where have I gone? Where did I go? / Has anyone seen me? Did I even leave a note?”

The chorus of ‘A.W.L.’ could be a wry comment on his temporary retiral of the last couple of years but, much as I’m looking forward to the Human Don’t Be Angry album in the New Year, it’s really nice to have him back under his own name.

Musically there’s a pleasing simplicity to the three acoustic numbers which seems to hark back to the ‘Into the Woods’ / ‘A Brighter Beat’ era. A reaction against the polygamy of ‘Waxing Gibbous’? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just that the format suits the nature of the project.

Whatever – ‘Big Style’ and ‘A.W.L’ are certainly indicators that the man can still write effective 3 minute pop songs whilst ballad ‘The Whole World Is Going To Fuck’ is not just a brilliant title.

Meanwhile the River of Slime side of the E.P. (Kev from FOUND’s side project) is an entirely different kettle of fish built entirely from samples. I was interested more than excited by the one time I’ve seen RoS live, but getting the chance to listen to this on record (even if it is apparently a live recording!) it feels far more coherent than that day.

I’m a bit out of my comfort zone on this one but there’s enough focus to keep my interest. I’ve never managed to get round to checking out the free River of Slime LP released in the summer but, on this evidence, that’s a mistake that should be rectified as quickly as possible.

The E.P. is the eighth in De-Fence’s 10 x 10 series which gives you not just the 10″ vinyl but also a CD-R of the songs.

You can buy De-Fence 10 x 10:08 here.

Malcolm tours the UK very soon with dates in Edinburgh (Electric Circus – 14th December) and Glasgow (Oran Mor – 15th) with support from Human Don’t Be Angry. Both Scottish dates look like they might be sold out since there are no tickets available from Ticketbastard. Compilation LP ‘A Quarter Past Shite’ will be available at the shows.

River of Slime is currently in India with the rest of FOUND!

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