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- Songs To Swim To by Monoganon
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 11 May 2012
This LP has a cover depicting an enormous chicken sitting on three sheep (or are the sheep just really tiny)? No mention of a band name, or titles anywhere. Phil has told me nothing apart from that he thinks they are Scottish.
My concerns of this being an overly folky-style exercise in misery are thankfully washed away from the get go. There's definitely a band aesthetic straight away with fiercely strummed acoustic guitars, skittery thrashing drums and instantly memorable melodies, expertly produced. A debate is raging in the office as to who it sounds like. Well, it's definitely very Scottish, the nearest comparison I guess would be folks like Frightened Rabbit but it's much more warm and rustic sounding and...well...enjoyable. The melodies are crystal clear and the waltz like rhythms give you an idea of beer sloshing along to them but its not contrived in any way like at least one currently successful Scottish act I could mention.
There's a sensitivity too, to the lyrics and the vocals, which suggest a background in sensitive acoustic picking rather than raucous bar room brawls. Yet its played with an energy that keeps the album rollicking along at breakneck speed. A really excellent, hugely enjoyable album of barnstorming acoustic pop. Highly limited gatefold sleeve. Top of the pops!
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