In 2013 my friend the poet Kevin Reinhardt made me a mix cd that started out with P.P. Arnold’s amazing ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ followed by this killer tune that reminded me of classic Mary Chain. It turned out to be ‘Aphrodisiac’ by Papernut Cambridge who had just released their debut album, Cambridge Nutflake, on Gare Du Nord Records, a label collective run by Ian Button, Robert Rotifer, and Ralegh Long.
This is a great rock & roll record. Ian Button may be “haunted by the insects in his dark imaginings”, as he intones on opener ‘The Ghost Of Something Small’, but outside that buzzing hook-laden head of his, it’s a leisurely ride through glittering neon, the fluorescence that illuminates rock’s shadowy nighttime world. The lights that feel like they’re never gonna end whilst terminating all too quickly – there’s 12 songs in 30 minutes here. But no matter, press play again and we’re back amidst the exiled warriors on Electric Main Street. Just as one would never fault T. Rex for being derivative, so here the nods to rock’s past – The Stones, Bolan himself, The Replacements, Kinks, and Mary Chain – are simply the lineage continuing itself. All sung in that sweet sinister voice a la Jim Reid, with just as sharp an ear for melody.
Ian has worked with a lot of great artists as a musician and producer. Notably, he was in Death In Vegas and produced the latest Go-Kart Mozart album, Mozart’s Mini-Mart. During the course of our conversation he introduced me to the Vaughan Thomas record from 1972.