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I’m not sure if you are aware dear readers that we have a policy of writing little post-it notes on promos to ‘help’ us remember what they sound like. Brian is extremely prolific at this, typical descriptions include ‘generic lame indie toss’, ‘hideous Chris Rea/Paul Weller bollocks’ and ‘I’ll knock the fecker out if it comes anywhere near our stereo again’. On this particular album I’ve written ‘inept attempt at Wild Nothing type stuff’ but from the opening track it’s obvious I was talking nonsense. It’s a lovely track that recalls both Lotus Plaza and (according to Phil) Big Audio Dynamite, and will certainly appeal a lot to fans of any of the new wave of dream pop brigade with its muttered vocals, ‘80s guitars put through a wind tunnel and general air of Ducktails.
I think my issue with the album was its general air of sameyness and the sloppy drum machinisms but on second listening melodies are emerging out of the sludge. ‘Prettiest Pills’ for example starts with a hefty White Stripes-ish guitar riff before heading off into dreamier territories with clever guitars and a few lovely changes.
Another issue for my reticence could be the singer, he tends to sing in the same register, often with the exact same effect on his voice and as a result many of the songs here recall Crystal Stilts. But listening through I’m still unsure what irked me so much, they have a nice knack of starting tracks with an unexpected heavy riff, then once the voice and other guitars appear it changes tack completely. ‘You’re not That Great’ has hints of The Cure and the early ‘80s raincoat brigade. It’s all done in a lo fidelity style, it is shambolically played and produced but thats de rigeur among todays upstarts. An album of messy shambling dark dream pop somewhere between Ariel Pink, Wild Nothing and Ducktails.
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