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- The Highs And Lows Of... by Jacques Caramac & The Sweet Generation
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I have to admit I have a bit of a soft spot for themed bands. Whether it’s be-costumed California surf rock or honky sax-laden London rock’n’roll or zombified thrash grind, I think it can help in assuming a specific character and aesthetic, as well as acting as a tacit acknowledgement that none of this is too serious; they’re playing.
Cake-loving international popsters Jacques Caramac & The Sweet Generation have already appeared on my radar with the infectious ‘It Takes All Sorts...’ 7” last year, although listening to this album it quickly becomes clear that they’re not just your average novelty act, there’s certainly plenty of sugary references in there, but they’re playing a brand of out-and-out indie rock which I haven’t heard since the late ‘90s, reminiscent of James or Mansun, or even My Life Story in places.
The aforementioned single falls bang in the middle of the album, a cheeky Art Brut-meets-Talking Heads interlude, with some ace driving piano chords that give it a really buoyant quality, but overall this album is much less funny and more ambitious than I expected. There’s a few instrumentals thrown in too, of which highlight ‘11 Hope’ is as good as anything Public Service Broadcasting have to offer.
It’s grandiose and playful art-pop...much like Matt Berry’s ‘Witchazel’ you could listen to this 50 times and still not figure out if they’re serious or not. Certainly not the straightforward tongue-in-cheek indie fun I was anticipating.
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