6/10 Clinton Staff review, 15 August 2013
The difference between the last track I played on the Surf City album and the first track on this album could probably only be heard by people with dog ears. Its more poppy, indie, surfy stuff with heavy nods towards Best Coast and the type of chirpy upbeat simple indie pop that seems to be de rigueur these days. The whole thing is made by one man Andrew Marr (its not, I must inform you a post-stroke midlife crisis album by the popular political broadcaster).
There are nods towards the plangent East Coast songwriting of Real Estate though its never as lush or as keening, ‘Big Heart’ drops the pace somewhat, bringing in some neat jangling guitars and its bringing to mind the 80’s fixated pop of the likes of Wild Nothing, I’m enjoying the guitar break here which at last is providing something memorable. My issue is perhaps with the vocals, which just kind of wander along in a vaguely sub Morrissey manner never adding anything of note to the track.
In fact, I think I might like this track better as an instrumental. ‘You Can’t Just Stop Being Cruel’ has Vampire Weekend ‘African-styled’ guitars but again there’s no real song there, the vocals are fairly indistinct. Instrumentally its nice chipper Smiths and pals influenced guitar stuff but it lacks a songwriting nous to elevate it above the hoards of similar jangly wannabees.
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