Inpress Magazine - Melbourne

Bluebottle Kiss - Doubt Seeds
Review by Mark Stockdale

A double album is an ambitious project and one that is intended as a 'series of references' to the artist's 'broad musical roots and influences' is even more so. But while it is useful to be informed by Bluebottle Kiss's label PR man Nick Carr that this is the concept behind Doubt Seeds, I am grateful that Carr abandoned the pedantic task of documenting all these in the liner notes which were to have been extrapolated from frontman and songwriter Jamie Hutchings' scribblings. A document like this could only distract one both from the discovery of the rich new context in which BK replant others' ideas, thus proving their ripeness for such a project and from the recognition and assessment of the album's brimming ideas and allusions for oneself. It is familiar domestic characters like Harold Holt which resonate in Hutchings' sea-drenched stream-of-consciousness lyrical meanderings more powerfully than Abe Lincoln and Homer and the shuddering tenor sax-riddled opening of Dream Audit evokes the Laughing Clowns playing at Bondi in '81 long before you realise The Weight of the Sea is BK's Tom Waits song, it's flophouses till feeling like Sydney. Oscillating between the discs as I am in this criminal act of digesting them whole, my bias shifting now to one, now to the other, it's Hutchings' poignant observations about time and memory ("Somebody's now existing inside the skull of what you knew") and the haunting choral accompaniments coming in at the end of songs like Fire Engine that hook me in before I can begin to care about how little Your Mirror is a Vulture resembles The Stooges' TV Eye. Seeds of doubt proliferate, then: doubt of the value of getting into the artist's absorbent psyche to find out what was purloined from where, doubt of how integral those stolen musical seeds are to the new creations to which you are listening, and if you're not a fan already, then assuredly, doubt that you should not perhaps have been paying a little more attention all these years that Bluebottle Kiss have been labouring away at the back of your life.




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