With the recent release of a new Soft Boys disc, Nextdoorland, it was probably inevitable that I’d return to Fegmania (1985), my favorite Robyn Hitchcock solo work. Billed as “Robyn Hitchcock and Egyptians” (which also included former Soft Boys bassist Andy Metcalf and drummer Morris Windsor – SBoys guitarist Kimberly Rew being busy w./ Katrina and the Waves during this period), the disc is arguably the best set of pop psychedelia that Hitchcock’s created. Where much of Hitchcock’s dadaist lyrical bent produces little more than interesting sounding non-sequitars, in Fegmania, it all seems to cohere: even if the album’s ultimate themes are only clear in the songwriters’s head. Credit the still-tight bandly playing of Metcalf & Windsor for keeping the whole shmear from turning into a solipsistic acoustic mess.
Rhino’s release of this disc comes with live and demo versions of “Cream,” “Mother,” and “Heaven.” It ends with a ten-minute instrumental, “The Pit of Souls,” which sounds like a lost track from Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma. Strangely apt, think I. “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” is the precisely the type of title Hitchcock could’ve concocted.
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The perfect disc for a romantic Halloween. . .