After the April 2019 release of the quite brilliant, She Loves The Birds EP (see our review here), Stephen Maughan’s latest band The Memory Fades, have slightly reduced the pretty and exactly imbued the extra noise-pop.
On Space Pilot he embarks upon a project that juxtaposes all manner of …Mary Chain to an odd, but beguiling Alabama 3 aesthetic, which he then twists around resigned lyrics about potential (and) lost chances.
The opening title track (see below) starts off with Jesus and Mary Chain grumbling guitar insistence layer upon crouched baritone vocals. Such a vibe accentuates final lines that hint at lost opportunites and perhaps provide a concluding remark, for the remainder of the EP inasmuch that there is the distinct feeling that this artist perhaps feels so much more could have been achieved.
Now is the time to be alive
Because tomorrow may never arrive
This theme is most definitely elaborated upon in the remaining tracks. The EP’s true stand out, Listening to the Mary Chain, presents a sweeter sound largely due to the guest vocals of Estella Rosa (the lovely vocalist from Nah) and the introduction of a more laconic, almost renouncing tempo, that reveals lyrics that opine the ‘life contraction’ experienced in not ‘really’ fitting into a particular musical scene or perhaps alienation itself:
distortion pedals in california
that’s where I wanted to be
rain rarely falls in california
that’s not the place for me
Similarly, the most beautiful track, Big Pop Stars (see below), vibrates with all manner of fluttering, enticing jangly indie-pop, as more chances appear to have simply wandered away:
You don’t want to hear all this stuff
About another bunch of wannabes
But that was my first band
And they meant a whole lot to me
Once again, Stephen Maughan provides us with another 4 tracks of personal, myopic brilliance. Available digitally now and on CD 30th September 2019, this is an essential purchase for his ever growing fan-base and new converts alike.