World’s Strongest Man is the magnificent third solo album by Gaz Coombes. Inspired variously by Grayson Perry’s the Descent of Man, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, Californian weed, British woodlands, unchecked masculinity, Neu! and hip hop (and a whole lot more besides), it’s a truly remarkable collection of eleven deeply personal songs each set to expansive, addictive melody. From the deep soul purge of the title track’ to the coruscating Fripp-goes-motorik sprint of Deep Pockets via the gorgeous cyclonic ballad Slow Motion Life and Vanishing Act’s raw-as-hell stream of consciousness panic attack, World’s Strongest Man is a bold, ambitious, free-thinking, future-facing rock‘n’roll record.
World’s Strongest Man is the follow up to 2015’s Matador – a record pretty much conceived, recorded and mixed in the studio equivalent of solitary confinement. Following its release, Gaz evolved from ‘the former Supergrass frontman’ to hugely respected Mercury nominated solo artist in the space of just ten months. That album spawned five singles and was described by Q as “his masterpiece”. Like Matador, World’s Strongest Man was written, recorded and produced by Gaz Coombes at his home studio and at Oxford’s Courtyard Studios (with co-production from long time studio partner Ian Davenport in a working process Gaz compares to what it must be like “editing a novel”).