Frazier Chorus – ‘Anarchy In The UK’ (1989)

Former Frazier Chorus flutist Kate Holmes (right) formed electronic outfit Client with former Dubstar vocalist Sarah Blackwood in the early 2000s. Image courtesy of Massimo Ankor via Flickr.

Now, this is a surprise.

A whimsical, fey and quaint woodwind-stroke-percussion heavy pop band – which was fronted by Martin Freeman’s brother, of course – covers the Sex Pistols.

For a band that was viewed as overly nice and twee, it was a bold direction to take.

It has a bold sound, too. The ambient arrangements would not seem out of place on a soundtrack and it also features some of their most ambitious sounds.

In retrospect, you can definitely see that the group was moving away from the organic sound of ‘Dream Kitchen’ and ‘Typical!’ to the indie-dance styling of ‘Nothing’.

Despite this, and the nature of the Sex Pistols’ original, it is a surprise that this sees the group at their most sedated. Even by Frazier Chorus’ standards, it’s a bit too relaxed.

It also doesn’t help that the textured production overshadows the old-fashioned intrigue and quirks of Frazier Chorus’ early sound.

Give them credit, though; it’s an unlikely cover and a very interesting experiment.

It’s just a shame that its concept is the most intriguing thing about it.

The peculiarities of this cover adds immediate curiosity and, while this ensures that it is passable, something is missing and it leaves you feeling ravenous afterwards. It even sounds rather empty and unfulfilled at times.

It’s harsh to criticise a band for doing something different, especially when it was a b-side to ‘Sloppy Heart‘, but Frazier Chorus really could have done more with this cover.

And it really does show.

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This review was self-published in June 2012.

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