Rob Jones
Spike Reptile (Reptile Ranch, Weekend, Alison Statton & Spike) and Debbie Debris (The Gist) have released the ‘Always Sunshine, Always Rain’ album and there is a lot of joy in the musical element of a work that spans a range of their unisons between 1981 and 1995.

There is the obvious question – does this liaison share any similarities to the graft of Spike when in tow with Young Marble giants figurehead, Alison Statton? Well, it is impossible to completely divorce the two projects with the boy-girl bond – especially as Alison & Spike also have a fresh release in the form of ‘Bimini Trust’. However, this couple of duos also provide a lot of variety in both their individual and collective content.

S & D buy into styles such as skiffle, bossa nova, folk-pop, a heavy African aural influence plus the expected post-punk leanings also permeate through a Cardiff led unit. Many of these songs when first recorded went under the monickers of Table Table plus Bomb and Dagger while also a posthumous Pepper Trees tag. There are alternate approaches between the three performing titles but the most significant similarity is that a catchy chord is not an issue. However, do not expect a rafter of love songs as the lyrics can be coated with personal and social commentary that is astute and far from basic.

On the peripheries when the mainstream could have done with a shot of such erudite excellence – do not avoid this time around. Spike & Debbie, Debbie & Spike – there is nothing here that is not to like!