Ewan Cruickshanks – ‘Faster Than a Snake’ [Armellodie]

In a mini-EP that’s nearly shorter in total runtime than a lot of songs at just over six minutes, Ewan Cruickshanksmanages to showcase his diversity rather than trying to tell a story in a concept release or present his “sound” in a unilateral fashion.

‘Faster Than a Snake’ is an interesting one thats production feels both throwaway and well considered at the same time.

It announces an unusual and somewhat uneasy arrival of an ambiguous subject in a style that could be likened to anything by Mark Everett of the Eels.

Cruikshanks does a great job of not leaving this song to feel too polished and doesn’t over develop it either – this feels like someone in control of their craft, and someone who knows the value of when to stop.

The second and third tracks could not be more different, the spoken word piece ‘Poor Wee Jim’ brings a decidedly Ivor Cutler tone to proceedings and tells a simple tale of finding love and acceptance in proper Scots, in which colloquialisms give gravity to save this from being any other tale you’ve heard.

Finally, we have ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’, which is a playful and unapologetically Meta song that has a childish nature to it and seems built on an in-joke.

As whimsical as the song is, it still holds together well to paint a picture again in the oblique and esoteric way that Cruikshanks seems so adept at.

If you seek a truly fresh approach, and aren’t fixated on genres, you could do worse than give Faster Than a Snake six minutes of your time.

Words: Krist McKenna

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