8 December 2019

Electro Gnomes - Electric Gnome Dance

Utterly ridiculous "Laughing Gnome" inspired synth-pop which is as close to genius as it is to garbage

Label: EMI
Year of Release: 1982

Regular readers of this blog will know that every December, I like to try and dig out a few festive-themed obscurities for you all to enjoy. Frankly, this year has been the toughest of all, and I've managed to dredge up lots of mewling, self-pitying ballads about being alone at Christmas and not many peculiar bangers with sleigh bells on. Don't worry, though. The self-pitying vinyl party-poopers in the pack will not be our main priority and we will quietly bury them towards the rear of the Christmas tree, alongside Uncle Frank's polka dot tie and those soaps we bought the next-door neighbours from Boots, even though we're not really sure if they're going to be around this year or not. 

This record was one of my best hopes, and it went I first plopped it on to my turntable and played it, I nearly jumped for joy. It's arguably the most pointless, ridiculous and childish Christmas record I've ever turned up, and it knows it - upping the goof factor to the max, the individuals responsible open with a Santa Claus who speaks more like one of the Gumbys from "Monty Python's Flying Circus", then tilt headlong into a squeaky gnome accompaniment whose stylings, initially at least, are clearly borrowed heavily from David Bowie (The group name of Electro Gnomes is also something of a clue as to their main influence here, even if it's doubtful Dame David would have regarded it as flattering).

Just when you think the track has settled into its groove it gets more frantic, more desperate, and speeches about Santa Claus being nice to the unemployed at Christmas-time get thrown into the already baffling mix. It's one for your festive playlist when you've had one too many Vodka and Red Bulls, and while it's not that surprising it wasn't a hit - this is going to irritate just as many as it entertains, I suspect - it's certainly ludicrous enough to raise a smile. Fans of the Cuban Boys "Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia" (a large Christmas hit in its own right) or of cheap and cheerful synth-pop at its most distracted and frantic may find a lot to love here. 

As for the Electro Gnomes, God knows who they were. They're very shy and unforthcoming on the credits here, so perhaps they genuinely did live on Santa's elf shelf in the sky. Or maybe they'll see this entry and have the courage to come forward and take credit. I do hope so.

1 comment:

meat tree said...

bloody marvelous, santa sounds a bit like bernard breslaw