Leggy Mambo reviews

"Pull The Udder One" - CUD 'Leggy Mambo' (Imaginary)

Sounds

4/5

The wild heart circuit gods are corning in. Building up a solid following away from the media and hype, Cud have retreated into their own distinctive creative comer and now they sit on the big time horizon, skimming the top 75.

There were a few worries about this one though. Had Cud, prime purveyors of goofball, wackoid sci-fi oddness, got the goingstraight bug, smoothed out their stub-toed riffs and wobbled their flappy-arse material onto the pop bandwagon?

Fear not. 'Leggy Mambo' is a stubborn resistance, Cud have decided to go with their own flow. By sticking to the pop they know best, Cud have probably saved their necks in the process. For the twists and turns of fashion an slowly cruising the bandwagon back into live riff stakes, and this is whore Cud always cut it.

Producer Dave Gregory, of XTC, has knob-twiddled the thing to perfection by riding Cud's grinding riff machine. The running bass, the cranked, tanked melody muscle that gives Cud their specific oddness, crashes in, with Mike Dunphy's scratching riddum guitar pegging off at obtuse tangents. Kicking off with a slow of three-minute Cud classics, including 'Now' and 'Heart' - already engraved on our hearts at recent madcap live shows - there follows a development in style with 'Love In A Hollow Tree' , a 3-D film theme twang which is almost a ballad. Carl Puttnam, the Lord Mayor of pop poop and the holler-throat vocal god, croons carefree over the lilting melody creating an odd moment of near beauty in the manic riff-strewn battle zone that surrounds him.

Cud are following the right course by playing by their own rules. There is a lighter, poppier feel than before, but the elements they draw from are the more eccentric Brit pop moments of the last 30 years.

Each song is colourful. DIY 3-D sci-fi. Cud make film-makers' musk and that's what they deserve to be lauded for.

John Robb