ctmf epHe wears more hats than an international milliner’s house model but prolific UK musician/artists/poet Billy Childish keeps making idiosyncratic, vital music. Here’s his latest - and of course there’s a back story.

Childish put his band Musicians of the British Empire (MBE) on hiatus a couple of years ago so wife and bassist Nurse Julie could have a baby. CMTF is the reformed MBE and this four-track EP apparently announces a return to live shows.

It’s a Billy Childish single - with four songs - so you probably know what to expect. It’s raw rock and roll (stripped to the bone, actually) with absolutely no concession to trends or passing musical fashion of the day. It’s so far removed to what you might hear on the radio (if you were silly enough to listen) that it’s in a world/class of its own.

The title track sets Childish’s deadpan vocal against a simple backbeat and abstract lead break. It’s about a legendary pub residency by one of Billy’s 5000 other bands, Thee Headcoats, back in the ‘80s. It won’t disappoint fans and might set the rest of you on your arses.

“An Ode To Citrus Heights” gives Nurse Julie full vocal reign and is cute garage pop. “SQ 1” (“square one”) features a Kinksy chorus and the crudest of lead breaks. Nurse Julie is back on the mic for the vibrant closer, “Throwback”, which throbs with energy and has its belly stripped wide open by the briefest of paint-stripping Childish solos.

three mcgarrett

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