Ring The Changes by The Keys

The totally pleasant Keys make psych rock as if it were commissioned by lazy day stoner Mac Demarco himself. 'Ring The Changes' is blissful and easy-going, as evidenced by single "Bad Girls" (which sounds literally nothing like M.I.A.). 'Ring The Changes' doesn't sound all that new, though, its infecting melodies, nostalgic choruses and 60s vocals recalling the Beach Boys and Violent Femmes in equal measure. 

Vinyl Double LP £20.49 SMDM028

Gatefold 2LP on See Monkey Do Monkey.

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Ring The Changes by The Keys
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9/10 Mark 14th October 2014

I think it's fair to say that Keys are influenced by the 60s. This has been clear since their excellent debut E.P 'Fire Inside' released in 2010, which had a definitive garage rock feel to it, and it's follow up 'Bitten By Wolves' (2011) which leaned toward fuzzy Psych rock. Since then they have acquired a new drummer and it seems to me this have really galvanized and focused the band enabling them to produce their finest work to date.

Ring the Changes was recorded in one weekend on an 8 track tape in a derelict church buried deep in the Welsh Valleys, which you have to admit has a certain romanticism about it. How can you not love a band that has such a stripped back approach to making music. These guys take pride in their craft, which I think carries through.

While listening to the album you will be forgiven for ticking off the various 60s influences you hear.. doo-wop.. check, surf music... check.. psychedelia.. check.. garage rock... check.. British Invasion... check... but for me this never hinders them, I get the feeling it is done in some places with a cheeky grin and wink as they drop the influence in. The song writing is (as always) spot on, catchy hooks and great melodies float out of the speakers sporting bell bottoms, bowl haircuts and flowery shirts, but never does it sound dated.

Stand out tracks for me are rip roaring opener 'Shake it Up' which I could imagine Jimmy from Quadrophenia doing his crazy mod-dance too.. 'Blessed are the Seeds' which has a Byrds vibe to it and brings to mind cruising across the desert in a clapped out Cadillac .. and 'Got To Get My She To Get Her' which has a loose baggy early 90s kick to it, backed up by some nice work on the waah waah pedal.

For me this is their finest most balanced work to date, they are a fantastic live band and I can't wait to see them tear these numbers up on stage.



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