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Guessmen | Animals In Suits (Guessmen)
Slightly derivative it may be, but taken with the right spirits, 'Animals In Suits' is one hell of a debut from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne's strangest musical trio. A weird and fairly wonderful cross-pollination of electronics, dank dub, doo-wop and fucked-up funk, the Guessmen are a sharp poke in the eye for fans of all such genres. Effectively, they've captured the chaotic top-hat-and-tails eccentricities of their live performances somewhere between Autechre and Tom Waits on tape, sporting a sense of humour that actually works ?? even, unusually, on repeated plays ?? like Shaun Ryder by way of Captain Beefheart. It baffles, it bewilders, but that doesn't stop us anticipating each one of the puzzling lines they throw our way. Best of all, the Guessmen's tunes have a queasy Zappa-esque quality that is equally tough to unravel. Foolish to one set of ears perhaps, fantastic to these.

Ian Fletcher
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003