Vinyl LP £15.99 SOU033LP
LP + download on Souterrain Transmissions.
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CD £10.49 SOU033
CD on Souterrain Transmissions & BONUS 4 TRACK CD.
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- Long Slow Dance by The Fresh & Onlys
The ever-reliable Fresh & Onlys are back with 11 new tracks of their skewed indie pop on their new album ‘Long Slow Dance’. For those unfamiliar, this lot deal in a brand of ‘60s-influenced indie pop with the emphasis on “pop” and a bit of a Deerhuntery drift-psych flavour. Opener ‘20 Days & 20 Nights’ actually sounds uncharacteristically like the Smiths with some cute little Marr-worshipping guitar lines, but after that it’s down to business with a set of jangling, shuffling, polished indie pop with the occasional blast of ‘80s synth.
I think this is the most polished thing I’ve heard from them to date, and when they ‘80s it up a bit especially it sounds dead slick, kind of like a more spacious and minimal take on M83’s recent output, but there’s enough variety here that despite the polished production it’s not exactly predictable, in fact it’s sometimes giving me that queasy disjointed feeling that I get listening to Abe Vigoda’s more tropical weirdness.
They do sometimes wander into National-esquely dreary territory on the likes of ‘Executioner’s Song’ (although this track is somewhat redeemed by some choice brass flourishes towards the end), but their blend of slinky offbeat pop more often hits a Wild Beasts-ish sharply poignant yet uplifting note, only with a much more prominent ‘60s influence. Penultimate track ‘Foolish Person’ is my personal highlight with its spare Menomena-ey verses and angsty anthemic chorus and a satisfyingly gnarly rock breakdown. At worst this album can be unfocused and a little pedestrian but at its best it’s inspired.
8/10 Dainesy 16th February 2014
The fourth LP from Bay Area outfit The Fresh & Onlys further refines and polishes their sound, pushing it firmly out of the garage and into the studio. Although some of the character and atmosphere is lost as a result, this cleaner sound accentuates their talent for crafting gorgeous melodies that hang around in your head. Centered around doomed romance and heartbreak, Tim Cohen's lyrics paint a portrait of a hopeless romantic veering from one failed relationship to another. Styles run the gamut from the self-deprecating beauty-and-the-beast ballad of 'Long Slow Dance' to the uptempo nod to the 80s, 'Fire Alarm', and the freak-out of Wymond Miles's climactic guitar solo on 'Foolish Person'. Despite the variation, the album remains cohesive and is another worthy addition to their increasingly vital discography.
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