Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
There are moments, polished, sincere but approachable and with the sly upturned grin of an aged valet who anticipates your every whim and desire; that you have to wonder whether fate, destiny or kismet knows exactly what you need at the exact right time. When listening to John Jenkins and That Sure Thing’s album, Intruders, it could be tempting to take a sneak peak out of the window and check to see if providence is keeping a wary eye on you.
Intruders seems to pay so much homage that the songs seem wonderfully recognisable, the foot taps out a distant memory of notes that have played in the ether and yet the foot, the memory is wrong, this is a set of songs that are so unique, so exclusive, that a Panda Bear wearing a flat cap and walking a whippet wouldn’t be able to get into an afternoon’s meet for Yorkshire Penguins racing their hounds round Leeds.
Intruders is not just a collection of songs neatly delivered into the hands of the admirer by Kismet, it is an assembly of musicians put together with the precision of a skilled professional. With contributions from the likes of Andy Dyson, Rachel Gore, Jo Smullen, John Kennedy, Paul Clements, David Goldberg and Steve Owen, the album sounds more smooth than a make of chocolate being pampered in a bath and stepping into the realms of musical genius quicker than Bach turning round to his wife and uttering the words, “Quick, write this down.”
Some albums are meant to touch in ways that others cannot or will never do. It may perhaps, depend on your mood, the attitude to openness at the time of musical delivery, however the best albums, the novel ones that gently hold your hand no matter the storm going on outside and tell you that all will be well, catch you with breathe poised and ready to be let go with dignity, any time of day or night.
Songs such as Nothing Hurts Like The Truth, When She’s Looking Straight Into My Eyes, Is It Love, the brilliant Midnight Driving and Radio KBCA all make Intruders a joyful act in which is hard to follow. At times as silicate as a butterflies wing gracefully catching the edge of a sea breeze, and at other times packing a harder punch than a 30 stone kangaroo who has remained undefeated and undetected in the Heavy Weight Championship of the World. Intruders is arguably a tremendous moment for John Jenkins and his marvellous accomplices. Kismet really knows how to spoil you rotten.
Ian D. Hall