“ The Truth Inverted”
(Falling A Records)
Great title, great album, a musical paperback with twelve chapters, “the empire of consumers” is sang about on ‘Signature’ in a world where “the truth is a lie” in a song destined for the Census of Hallucinations planet Earth songbook.
‘In Ruins’ is similarly pertinent and instructive, mostly narrated and will strike a chord with free thinkers everywhere, a well-deserved attack on the paltering population who swallow in one gulp “selected connotations”, the “dumbing down of memory”, “the rewriting of history” as “the elephant in the room” as “forgotten truths” are “in ruins”. The reference to the “malfunctioning society” and the “greedy me-me-me” ethos that has become like a philosophy for modern times, will resonate with millions, if only we could get millions to listen! “All About Harry” is a jaunty satire about ‘you know who’, while “Faculty of Mirrors” is a touching introspection and reflection on growing older and a reassertion that we are more than atoms.
But what about of the music itself- well in an expanded line-up everybody plays their part with a special mention to Kevin Hodge on electrified acoustic guitar, Mark Dunn on bass with some added cello with other stalwarts like Paddi on drums and Terri B on vocals (Tim Jones himself sticks to the role of lead vocalist) with Maxine Marten also singing back up. Honorary member John Simms remains fairly quiet early on filling in the backdrop of the painting with his unique touch on guitar and guitar synth (listen to his measured break on ‘Cold As Trout’), emerging from the background on ‘Faculty of Mirrors’ to deliver a telling solo and also featuring on ‘Delivering the Goods’ (to the “high and mighty”). There is also Barry Lamb whose synth at the end of ‘Cold as Trout’ is so effective (as it is on ‘Nothing Is As It Seems’) and who also adds sax and mellotron to the project. And let’s not forget young James Jones narrating a poem, ‘Lost in the Lakes’ at two points on the album, adding a cool atmospheric both times - it seems like yesterday that James was born!
The music is so powerful because it has a message and a purpose, albeit an uncomfortable one for many, but strangely enough, though the pill is difficult to swallow, this is comfort music to me, reassured that there are people out there who really, really care. But we are not finished yet. Tim has much more to say.
Another number destined to become a C of H classic, ‘He Who Can Manage Camels’, is a visceral, dislocating but haunting nine minute log message merged with a rich palette of keyboards and percussion. ‘The Emperor’ has a warning “watch where the money falls” which helps to reveal the identity of the target of the satire and with its rolling drums and clanging guitar sound is another memorable stand out. ‘The Crunch’ is another cleverly observed song about the role of numbers in our lives, with nice percussion and backing vocals.
The title track comes last, a brooding take on the truth being out there and “wolves dressed as sheep”, a powerful track concluding with a great guitar solo, an excellent blend of instruments once again. Census of Hallucinations ask the big questions and do so in a way that is engaging, musically satisfying and, at times entertaining in the occasional humorous asides. As for ‘The Truth Inverted’ it is rapidly becoming my favourite C of H album.