Lester Square was the original guitarist in Adam and the Ants before co-founding The Monochrome Set with whom he has released eleven studio albums. He has also recorded with The Invisible, Jesus Couldn’t Drum, And The Native Hipsters, Victory Through Sound and Helen McCookerybook. Lester will release a new solo album entitled "Serotonin" in July and this will be the follow up to his excellent debut solo LP "Carcass", which we featured in Retro Man Bog here. It's another intriguing and inventive selection of musical vignettes that cram in a myriad of different sounds and influences. Some of the songs such as "Blake's Dream" - one of three co-written with ex-Smith, Craig Gannon - are like mini-symphonies while others have evocative orchestral arrangements that seem ideal for movie scores. The track "Shaken Not Stirred" as you may imagine could well be a theme tune to a James Bond movie and Lester plays with this filmic element throughout the album. He throws in lots of twangy Surf riffs and the occasional blast of Garage Rock Fuzz as well as Baroque synth sounds sound effects and radio and TV news broadcast excerpts. "Privates on Parade" is driven along by some military snare drumming and a toy town rhythm track that's not unlike what Lawrence from Felt is now doing with Go-Kart Mozart. There's even time for a bit of Sitar on "Prime Time (Cowboys & Indians)" and "Pachelbel's Pistol" features some dreamy female backing vocals and the percussion gives it a Tropicalia feel - all topped off by Lester's familiar exquisite guitar work.
"The new Lester Square album "Serotonin" follows up last year's "Carcass"
with yet more melodic soundscapes crammed with the kind of earworms
and guitar hooks that were his Monochrome Set calling card. Lester is joined by guests such as Craig Gannon (Aztec Camera, The Bluebells, The Smiths) and Andy Vaughan (Victory Through Sound) to produce a toe-tapping, fender bender of an opus, infused with a lush filmic sense of mood and everywhere the plangent sound of the guitar, in all its incarnations. From the space disco of Cassini Godspeed to the raga redux of Prime Time (Cowboys and Indians); from the 'Carry On' square bashing of "Privates on Parade" to the psychedelia of the title track; from the pastoral poignancy of "L'Olivarie" to the 'strum' und drang of "Shaken Not Stirred"; Serotonin is an album of infectious melody but with all the edge and verve you would expect from this mover and shaker of the Indy Sound. So move over, Duane Eddy; sling your hooks, Tommy Garrett; thanks, but no thanks, Hank. With this feel good album, Lester Square is now claiming the aural high ground." - Johnny Besoin
|Lester Square photographed at our Retro Man Blog Night in May 2014 by Paul Slattery|
All songs written and performed by Lester Square except "Shaken Not Stirred", "Blake's Dream" and "50 Guitars" which were written and performed by Lester Square and Craig Gannon. Vocals on "Pachelbel’s Pistol" by Jenny Besoin, Sitar intro on "Prime Time (Cowboys and Indians)": Bobby Lightfoot, Guest guitarists on "50 Guitars": Jeremy Wilson, Andy Vaughan, Ian Evans, Jen Denitto, Ciaron Marlow, Andy Bushrod, Brian Nupp, Nate Stiles, Cliff Adams, Mark Ashe and Steve Thompson. The album recorded at Liberal Elite Studios, Islington in 2018 and was mastered by Craig Gannon. "Serotonin" will be released in July and is available to order from the Lester Square Bandcamp site here.