Safari "Maybe Tomorrow"
‘Maybe Tomorrow’ is more retro than a pair of cords with a space-hopper patch sewn onto the back pocket. The cover art recalls those great LP “masterpieces” of bands such as Yes, Weather Report, King Crimson and the like, great sprawling geometric landscapes with the odd fantastical creature coloured in unsubtle primary colour blocks. Spend an afternoon in any self-respecting record store and you’ll find at least twenty records you could easily mistake for Safari’s latest. Give them a spin and you’ll be double-taking again.
While the main Safari sound clearly draws on seventies blues and punk for inspiration, the Pixies may be one of the album’s most obvious influences, and not just because Victor Quaalude (a title that recalls “Alec Eiffel”) sounds like it is going to turn into “I Bleed” from Doolittle, but because of the manic guitar work throughout, breathless energy and wonderful major to minor chord movements on tracks like ‘Texas’, one of the many highlights. Other influences scream for attention, be it The Stooges on ‘Julia and the Star Rats’ or even a bit of Blondie meets Sonic Youth on ‘New Lover’ but Safari have enough talent and sense to keep their elders in check. ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ is Safari’s third release and it is clear they have found a niche and are happy to settle in it. Perhaps the time for such lo-fi retro blues was earlier in the last decade but there is still an audience for it (er, how popular are The Beige Keys and C. J. Stonefacewhatever?) and if you fancy something a bit rougher round the edges, a bit more adventures, certainly more aggressive and with some cross-dressing thrown in for good measure, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ deserves your attention.