There's a party going on in Duncan Fleming's head, and we're not invited. However, he's rigged up a decent PA and we're welcome to listen in...
Essentially Fleming is_ War Against Sleep. _'Messages' is the product of five years of collaboration with likeminded musicians in and around Bristol. In his head the ghosts of Bolan and Morrison dance hand-in-hand with Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and Elton John at his most fantastical, whilst Nick Cave hands the nibbles around. However, his music never sounds like a simple collage of easily defined influences; instead it's rich with imagination - tales of morbid obsession, narratives full of spacemen and razor-sharp humour are all complemented by music bearing an assured lo-fi swagger. Single 'Again Love Smashes Up My Mind' is only the tip of the controlled eccentricity at work on this album. Scratch below the surface and 'Messages' opens up to a bottomless melting pot of bizarre imagery. 'Evil Aliens' is, as its title suggests, about Evil Aliens; other tracks aren't so straightforward, and therein lies the beauty of a record that never gives an inch without taking a mile.
Overall, 'Messages' is difficult - persevere and it reveals its true depth; resist and accept your weaknesses. We all have them, but few have put them into song quite as well as Fleming does here. Listen in for a while but beware: the ghosts are watching.
7Mike Diver's Score