The Dowling Poole - ‘One Hyde Park’ (PledgeMusic) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Martin Haslam   
Monday, 04 April 2016 03:00

DowlingThe sun is (sort of) out, the garden’s beginning to bloom and thoughts turn to summer. Two years on from their debut album, ‘Bleak Strategies’, The Dowling Poole release ‘One Hyde Park’. Yet again, this is likely to be my Album Of The Summer. Should you also love a heady mix of pop and psychedelia with a dark and twisted heart, you have to get your mitts on this.


This time around, the ‘really odd couple’ of Willie Dowling (The Grip, Honeycrack, Jackdaw 4) and ‘Random’ Jon Poole (Cardiacs, God Damn Whores, Ginger Wildheart, Lifesigns) are more settled in their vision; you can’t see the join in the songs. While said songs are very much their babies, the continued assistance of vocal wizard(ess) Givvi Flynn ensures that the lush harmonies are HUGE and lovely.


First single, ‘Rebecca Receiving’, is pop from another planet. Somewhere between XTC and ‘The Laughing Gnome’, it will lodge in your brain. Yet, there are better songs on here; ‘When She Knows, She Knows’ is simply fantastic. I can hear Squeeze, Bowie, Madness and Queen all in there somewhere, yet this is no pastiche. You need a whole lot of talent to pull this off and keep your own identity, which they manage throughout. The musicianship is, as you’d expect, superb.



‘Vox Pops’ seems to berate the continuing dumbing down of the media and ties it to a distinctly Brian May influenced solo/chorus. Barbed insights never sounded so beautiful. ‘Adam And Eve (A Secular Hymn)’ gets funky with a bass line that only Jon could get away with. Danceable, blimey.


‘Willing To Change’ has an intro of peculiarly British psychedelia, while the chorus could be the finest parts of The Feeling. Well, I like them! ‘Hope And Glory’ has more “ba, ba, bas” than anyone else would dare use. ‘American Teeth (English Pride)’ treads proggier ground, comparing our two countries’ strengths/weaknesses via our very different gnashers. I blame Cee Lo; now all old rockers get them. ‘The Garden’ is a densely layered listen which rewards differently each time.


‘Whatever’ brings some eastern flavour to proceedings; “you can disengage your righteous rage”. To be honest, there’s so many good lines here that I need a lyric sheet to find them all. ‘One Hyde Park’ throws the kitchen sink in for good measure to end the album, and requires further listens to probe its depths.


These are just my immediate favourites. There’s no filler here, some are more poppy or straightforward than others, but for fans of smart, psych-tinged adult pop music, you will not hear finer this year. They tour in May. Now, I must listen to ‘When She Knows, She Knows’ yet again…approved image lrg 2013


To pick up your copy of 'One Hyde Park' - CLICK HERE