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- Australia 2013 EP by The New Mendicants
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I know a few people who would get themselves in an excited mess at the thought of Norman Blake and Joe Pernice collaborating, they are indeed two sides of the same ultra tuneful jangly coin. Both are soft voiced leaders of supremely good old fashioned guitar groups (Teenage Fanclub on this side of the puddle, The Pernice Brothers that).
This collaboration occurred when Blake was newly resident in Toronto and was swiftly introduced to the bearded melodicist, Pernice. As an aside, I read about this a lot, musicians finding themselves living in another country. Laura Marling lives in LA now. How do they do it? Aren’t there green cards and stuff you have to get? Canada lets anyone in so I’m sure there was a frisson of excitement in the cafeteria of border control when they heard he was arriving.
Aaaaaanyway...this sounds like...well what do you expect? It sounds like The Pernice Brothers and Teenage Fanclub. Lead track (off their forthcoming album) ‘This Time’ is a nice slice of melodic pop with close harmonies on the chorus. It is, unexpectedly, an INXS song but you’d never guess from the Byrdsian strum. The remainder of the EP seems to be live-to-tape recordings which show a sense of fun although ‘High on the Skyline’ is an undoubted gorgeous highlight and certainly should be on their upcoming album. There are also ‘covers’ of Teenage Fanclub and Pernice Brothers songs and, it seems, a good time was had by all.
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