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Having dropped the ‘We’re British!’ bit, and having only recently recovered from the experience of giving a drunken Brian a lift back to Leeds in their hatchback following their show in York last year when he’d ‘missed’ his train, Leeds-based indie-pop sensations Just Handshakes drop (God I am starting to hate that word) their second album of homespun indie.
Opener ‘London Bound’ has the sound of a miniature New Order with thrashy, jangly guitars and high-pitched Peter Hook bass lines. The lady vocals are really sweet, like a particularly sugar-infused lemon and meringue pie, and the whole thing has an innocent 80s indie-pop vibe that reminds one of sucking nothing more sinister than a lollipop.
Although it’s made of a lot of the same ingredients as the old style of indie your mum used to make, the tunes on this record really creep up on you and even an ageing cynic like me is bounding along. It’s fair to say that if you swayed to the likes of Heavenly, The Sundays, and Strawberry Story back in your flaxen you will find plenty to admire. But it’s not just for us old folk. Modern-day contemporaries could be ‘Allo Darlin, Camera Obscura, et al and it seems from reading the internet that the kids all love it. A saccharine album of dream/twee pop with the occasional lurch towards greatness and if it all gets a bit fey here and there, well, maybe that's the point. It certainly makes me want to listen to all my tapes again.
Wash my Field Mice t-shirt, mother, I’m back in the game!
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