Bristol's Snails come out of their shell (sorry) with this their debut LP on the mysterious though collectible Feral Child imprint. They play a typically English form of song craft taking it's queues from the whimsical '60s work of the Kinks and Syd Barrett but their song structures and particularly the vocals of Dan Weltman are very reminiscent of under-rated English pop group Teleman.
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Who remembers the Kinks? Well I'm old enough to be at least aware of them. I'd be fairly sure that Snails know of them too by the whimsical sounds they make on the opener here 'Jennifer Jones'. It's one of those quintessentially English sounding songs people in the '60s used to make. See also: early David Bowie, Syd Barrett.
But Snails don't appear to be of this current age. They appear to have been dragged blinking out of some 1967 era currant bun. Singer Dan Weltman has almost the exact same voice as Teleman's Thomas Sanders....i.e slightly redolent of a bespectacled librarian in the '60s singing whilst mowing his lawn. They are times alarmingly twee particularly on 'More Than A Second' - the kind of song that could get them booed offstage by Belle and Sebastien fans for being just too winsome. Amidst this saccharine sweet pop there are lovely songs particularly 'Red Nose Floating' and 'Talking to Anthony' both heartfelt ballads with neat chord changes that wrench at the correct heartstrings. And it is here where Snails impress. I find some of the jauntier numbers rather...um annoying and some of the twee lyrical couplets grate a bit but when they play it straight as on the gorgeous fingerpicked 'Maisie' they prove that they can compete with the '60s forefathers they so much resemble.
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