Regal Worm release Worm!, the fizzy, dizzy follow up to 2021's The Hideous Goblink. It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a decade since Regal Worm first emerged from the mud. And what a long segmented body of work it has been with no less than five albums under its clitellum! (look it up, it’s not a rude word). With a small bag of heavy friends, Varrod Goblink continues to create astonishing music in his very own loft laboratory. Crammed with a growing number of vintage, dusty instruments, clean vintage instruments, computer tech foolery and weird looking banks of machines festooned with twiddly knobs, a visitor might wonder if they’d accidentally wandered into some sort of TARDIS.
Varrod has added even more wide ranging musical ingredients into the cosmic soup; from the skittering tribal rhythms of afro hippie rock in Bong Song to the New Wave Devo 7/4 time jerkiness of Hop. The infectiously bouncy and green minded, Chlorophyllia evokes the memory of eighties post punk popsters, Fun Boy Three (if they’d harked from Dagobah rather than Coventry) and there’s even an electronica nod to Varrod’s mother band, the hitmakers, I Monster, no less.
Lyrically, this new outing is tonally more wriggly and playful than last year’s album, (The Hideous Goblink. Do we need to mention the title again?) which reflected on the troubling issues we currently face this century. Worm! does not dwell on such dark matters this time around. In Regal Wishbone, Varrod contemplates if humans could only fly wondrously like birds and in Don’t Freak Out The Creatures our hero then considers space travel as the only way forward. When the listener really takes flight is experiencing the grandiose nine and a quarter minute long Kazakhstan folk/jazz/EDM centre piece symphony, The Steppe Nomad Space Program, a tale full of hope as extraterrestrials exit their craft in the Steppe only to be greeted by fellow nomads of the humankind.
It’s not all Sci-fi Ray Bradbury-land though; for your delight, there is the cosmological and ecclesiastical sounding (with a dash of acid techno thrown in) Is There Anything Blacker Than A Black Cat?, wistful synth-heavy numbers like Dindy Super, a nostalgic lament for the simple pleasures of a cheap audio cassette tape and the filmic space-funk track, Green Beetle, Plate 31 that examines the chemistry of aphrodisiacs and marks the first love song ever composed by Regal Worm. Even invertebrates need love.