Sometimes a release slips by and you just want to punish yourself for several months of missed musical opportunity by smacking yourself repeatedly around the face with a putrid kipper (or the fish of your choice) before sitting aloft the musical naughty step for 3 consecutive days to listen to The Stereophonics …this is one such example.
Emanating from obvious The Stevens reference points (Travis MacDonald is the lead singer and Alex McFarlane is the Hobbies Galore label boss) this appears to be the vehicle to express a weirder, more curious aesthetic.
Tracks such as Laura, Armchair Television and Big Jean (see below) best represent a side to the album that offers distorted elements of jangled riffs that are layered under hooks that are either minuscule in their brief offerings or completely non existent. Imagine all these weird late 70’s / early 80’s cold wave bands had suddenly expressed a desire for the higher chords and you will be in the right ballpark. Weird but enticing.
The other half to the album is perhaps more akin to the more melodic The Stevens without trading directly on their toes. This primarily due to the fact that tracks such as Personal Pronouns, Peter (see below) and Toll Free add a Lewsberg style half spoken word / half shouted delivery that is accentuated by all manner of keyboards drifting about behind the incessant guitar thrum. The hooks return to some extent to replace the very weird with a more controlled type of sound where tracks appear to unravel and deconstruct with obvious intent.
For those that prefer their jangle on the alternative end of the spectrum this is a must.
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