They come from Oxford, this is their debut album, and they seem to have spent a lot of time listening to Yeasayer and those types. A whiff of chill, some poppy choruses: you know that there drill. In fact, I find it very hard to believe that they ARE from Oxford, the vocalist sounds very, very American. I'm trying to find out more about their personal bios, and as I do I see the NME describe them as an avant garde take on The Beach Boys. How are they more avant garde than The Beach Boys? And if so, what battle are they at and are they charging the wrong way?
I like The KLF chill-out noise that the album opens with, then my interest dips heavily. Maybe it's listening to Cornershop the other day and getting excited about early Nineties takes on Britishness, but I'm mistrustful of their pristine lift of the Brooklynite sound right down to the accents. There's apparently talk of a new Thames Valley scene, but it wouldn't fare too well by comparison to the likes of Lush and Ride and Swervedriver from the first time around.
Big drum kits. "Dais Flowers" bursts in particular with Beach Boys yearning. "Pink Light" rattles along on a tide of current sounds. So does "Crystals"; "Oh, I am going to upset the apple cart," he sings. I really don't see how. By signing about "Waikiki" and "Haight-Ashbury" instead of the Bodlean Library and Bognor Regis? You might excite a couple of Apple Geniuses maybes.
The murky canals of "Amsterdam" are more pleasing structurally, but it's still not enough to lift the music out of this complacent fog. "Really Great World" decides to couple uplifting backing music with what I take to be sarcastic choruses inbetween ruminations on ruined nations. (Oh, fuck me, I'm fallin asleep listening to this and it's only 3pm and I got several hours sleep last night. Baaadd sign.)
"Goodnight" is conducted on a ukelele: some barbershop, Wilson boys business. "I want to live a life of puppy dog/And loving wife/I want to feel how others felt." That thunk was the sound of me resting my case.
Rating: Wrong Transatlantic Turn out of Shoegaze