Sunday, August 21st, 2005
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 4
|Brakes / Give Blood (Rough Trade)
Brakes could be described as a UK supergroup if you have a very loose frame of reference for “super”. Fronted by British Sea Power keyboardist Eamon Hamilton, Electric Soft Parade principles Tom and Alex White and The Tenderfoot’s Marc Beatty, they’re not exactly Traffic. The 16 tracks clock in at under half an hour and the entire album has an incredibly loose, off the cuff, occasionally country-ish feel with straightforward punky arrangements and goofy, snotty vocals. There’s little doubt the manifesto for this project is to drink, goof off and have a lark, so it’s a little surprising that the results are so listenable. It’s not going to change anyone’s life, but it’s a good, quick bit of fun. The kitchen sink aesthetic is a real departure for the ESP boys, who I’ve always thought failed to realize their potential by falling prey to serious overproduction on their own records. Maybe they’ll take something positive away from this to apply to their day job? Oh, and in case you’re wondering, “Sometimes Always” is a cover but “Fell In Love With A Girl” is not. The album, out in the UK last month, gets a North American release on September 13.
Incendiary has an interview with Brakes.
|The Perishers / Let There Be Morning (EMI)
The Coldplay-led sensitive rock phenomenon that has been sweeping across the UK now has a standard-bearer in Sweden in the form of The Perishers. Perhaps the only band on the face of the Earth that Coldplay could beat up, The Perishers (whose name inaccurately conjures up images of death metal – for me, anyway) are all about piano and acoustic-y ballads with just enough electric instrumentation to lend some texture or edge. Ola Kluft’s voice is more than a little reminiscent of Travis singer Fran Healy’s, but the songs lack his wry sense of wit – instead, the lyrical content is more naval-gazing and generally simplistic and glum. Think about that for a minute – there now exists music that is Travis lite. Be afraid. Let There Be Morning is delicate, heart on sleeve emotional and utterly unnecessary.
|Some By Sea (MySpace)
I am well aware that it’s hypocritical of me to rag on one act for being artistically redundant but not do the same for another act that doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but whatever. I’m capricious like that. Sea-Tac’s Some By Sea sound not unlike the lower-fi offspring of Matt Pond PA’s cello-seasoned chamber pop and Death Cab For Cutie’s earnestly melodic and verbose indie rock. Chris Du Bray’s voice is a little on the thin and nasal side, and the songs benefit when cellist/keyboardist Rachel Bowman adds her harmonies to the mix. The four songs on their MySpace page offer a mix of live and studio tracks and it all sounds quite good. They’ve got an album and EP in the discography and will expand that on September 27 with a new EP, The Saddest Christmas, and a second full-length is in the works for early next year.
np – various artists / Never Lose That Feeling Volume One