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- Youth Club Disco by The Servants
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 08 July 2011
To lighten up a rather grey-ish day we have a much needed retrospective of lost '80s jangle pop heroes The Servants. I first heard them on the legendary NME C86 tape with the magnificent 'Transparent', horrifyingly not included here. Not to worry, I'll get over it as there's plenty else to recommend this album. They were something like The Go-Betweens if they had been uptight and English and obsessed by Postcard Records. They are also notable for being the first band of professional grump Luke Haines. Leader David Westlake has a right Robert Forster twang in his voice and there are musical nods to The Velvet Underground, Orange Juice and The Smiths but it's on tracks like 'The Sun, A Small Star' where The Servants really come into their own. This is magnificent, melancholic indie pop with a wonderful melody which tugs at all the heartstrings with its subtle but effective violin. Not all the tracks sting in such a way and there's plenty of generic '80s indie fare on view in the first half but its noticeable that as the album wears on the garage influences lessen and The Servants begin to burn brightly and are at their best when the temp is slowed slightly into the kind of wonderful autumnal jangle seen on The Go-Betweens' 'Liberty Belle' album. Here their songwriting really comes into its own and they are unafraid to add in jaunty country-ish fiddle on 'Faithful to Three Lovers' sounding something like Lloyd Cole playing the hits of Dexys Midnight Runners. It's good stuff that will appeal to fans of the '80s 'greats' as well as those more obscure bands (McCarthy, Close Lobsters, Bodines, etc) who peddled a similar musical path.
8/10 Phil Customer review,
May be also worth a note that Hugh Whitaker, ex-Housemartins drummer (yet-to-be at this stage!) & incidental homicidal comedy axeman bashed the skins on this album. No scalps wre scalped though, thank heaven.....
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