The Devil makes work for idle hands, they say, but it would probably be disingenuous to credit this to the big red bastard himself. We suspect that Dudley Colley’s hands don’t sit idle for too long. The Dudley Corporation are currently on hiatus before releasing their fifth album, and this interim project from their frontman sees him move away from the guitar band template into a more industrially-fuelled, sample-heavy arena. It’s the work of Screaming Parent. It suits him.
Apparently recorded in Colley’s spare room through most of 2014, ‘The Completist’ is often dense, often noisy, but cut through with melodious vocal lines and guitar – even violin on The Design Of Awful Things (I’m Through With Numbers), where strings and sampled beats spar with one another.
A whisper of “ah bollocks” mid-way through the infectious title track and a descending, Bowie-esque vocal inflection are just a mention of the many little sonic adornments and references that are to be found nestled within this “solo misadventure”, as Colley would have it. Contrasting tones and textures abound – slightly discordant chiming notes with a Princely swagger on The Question At The End Of It; rasping, breathy synthetics with the warmth of picked guitar, and the harshness of tumbling drum samples with lush layers of vocal harmonies on The Alien Thing; The Stand Off, half a minute long yet still somehow…complete.
The Seasons treads darker territory; trip hop almost, with a vocal that recalls Ian Brown one minute, Thom Yorke the next. The Enemies In seems a more frantic beast than the rest. Bright synths fire off over a more percussive foundation and blistering beats pop from one ear to the next; the song piles on the effects then pulls back, upping the BPM to Atari adult riot proportion, going all out before paring things back once again.
It would do ‘The Completist’ a disservice to merely call it a stopgap between The Corpo’s output. Colley has mined a new sonic fissure outside of his main squeeze, one that takes a much more abrasive slant. The devil is in the detail, though (the big red bastard had to be in here somewhere, presumably through The Gates Of Hell), and there are many melodic delights sewn into the mesh of sounds on Screaming Parent’s debut; his firstborn, but surely not destined to be an only child.