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Do they ever stop for a minute? There has been a case in the past for the Fresh and Only’s taking a fallow year out, writing some truly decent songs and waiting for the right time to strike.
Here, they continue the pursuit of 80’s flavoured raincoat rock that they started edging towards on the ‘Soothsayer’ EP. Nods towards Echo and The Bunnymen and Psychedelic Furs are rife amongst the opening gambit of tracks and certainly fans of The Horrors will find plenty to enjoy here. ‘Bells of Paomia’ though takes a different tack with just fuzzed guitars and pulsing bass providing a bed for an ethereal vocal line.
Fresh and Onlys albums usually start with a corker but this time they wait until track 4 for something that really catches my ear, ‘Animal of One’ is a great little track full of reverby twangy guitars and delayed 50’s style vocals. Its head and shoulders above everything else on the record with a wonderful 60’s influenced 80’s sound, like The Cure playing The Byrds. Truly trancendental, ‘April Fools Day’ follows a similar style but not as memorable whilst ‘Ballerina’ is a clever song full of dark brown Richard Hawley vocals and late night (final) atmospheres.
So a mixed bag then but that Fresh and Only’s best of when it appears is going to be quite something.
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