The Incredible Shrinking Man is a short (3 track) , but tight and very well constructed EP from Kentish band Los Salvadores. The EP follows on from 2010’s excellent Stuck between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and is a little less frenetic in pace, giving more opportunity for some complex and imaginative storytelling.
Los Salvadores currently comprise Gareth Arnold on lead vocals with Marf Whiskin (guitar, vocals), Hannah Ellerby (violin) and Vicky Price (French horn, vocals) The Incredible Shrinking Man opens with The Plunderer via a fanfare swirl and a fine combination of fiddle and horn playing from Ellerby and Price. The tale here is based on revolution and overthrow of a regime, with the title character picking over the bones of the fallen despot.
The title track Mistress of Distress & the Incredible Shrinking Man combines folk sensibilities with hints of swing and a characteristic flair for the dramatic. The lyrics take in a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland and the 1950s film The Incredible Shrinking Man before becoming a little incomprehensible, but this doesn’t detract from the quality of the song. Finally, The Last Soiree delves into some wonderful images of the theatre as a parable for life, as the players are forced to continue the show even though they and the theatre itself are at the point of collapse.
This is another impressing outing from Los Salvadores, full of evocative, if occasionally obscure, lyrics which are well-suited to their richly textured sound. The EP certainly has a lot of depth and is well-suited to careful repeat listening rather than as a quick fix.Mike Hough
Summer 2011 release
1. The Plunderer
2. Mistress of Distress & the Incredible Shrinking Man
3. The Last Soiree