Filthy Pedro and the Carthaginians - Self Titled
Tiffany Daniels 01/04/2010
Filthy Pedro was born in Anglesey, and has since moved to London to be joined by The Carthaginians, a collective purveying in bizarre production techniques, lo-fi and unpolished instrumentation, and often-dubious lyrical content.
Self-titled album Filthy Pedro & the Carthaginians kicks off with the dub-infused “Rock'n'Roll Points”; a characteristically subdued wander into all things provocative, it's essentially frontman Pedro listing everything likely to piss a close-knit community off. Following track “They Kicked Me out of Anglesey” does not stop the offensive and documents his exile from an un-appreciating and unappreciated hometown. Elsewhere “I'm Too Good For You” and “Country Life” follow suit with extra lashings of self-importance and degradation.
When one realises that Pedro was reared in the countryside and is half Welsh the slander becomes more qualified, but unfortunately footnotes are not provided, and so what was first perceived as endearing soon begins to grate - the vague irony that borders on insulting garbage has already riled sensitive listeners; someone in Wales tried to 'lynch' Pedro; unsurprising considering his music contains such charming lyrics as, “like all other young men I had a sheep I loved, but they didn't like it because my sheep was black.” Bigotry is too harsh a word (particularly when the band's angst is directed at people they consider to be bigots) yet a fair chunk of this album focuses on insulting British residents - never a sure way to make a good impression.
More positively, there's a blend of history and a focus on the Ancients, particularly on “Gilgamesh” and “The Julio-Claudian Caesars”, both of which up the anti. If this theme ran throughout the record could be considered an offbeat and unusual classic, but when the histrionics are infused between battery and love gone wrong they become perverse, and more points are lost to grim ballads like “Sod 'em All”, “The Raver's Prayer” and “What Goes Up”.
In order for this outlet to have any chance at success Pedro and his Carthage civilians need to have a frank talking to, install their resentment of certain minorities in another project and focus on their love for referencing and drugs. That particular mix would have been commendable, but overall this is too angry to be considered precious. It's like a road-weary Lupen Crook if he lost the ability to vocalise his hatred without pouncing on every member of his audience. Not a good look and more than a little dangerous.
Release date: 12th April 2010