Songs- Songs

Max Doyle sings with a swagger in his voice that makes this a swinging record, full of rock ‘n’ roll hooks but free of the usual clichéd imitations.  After releasing two split 7″ with The Bats and Love Of Diagrams, Songs is the band’s full-length debut. With heavy drones and spitting fuzz spiralling from the guitar of Jeff Burch (formally of NZ band This Night Creeps) and thick, wavy drum beats pouring from Steve Uren’s (also a former member of This Night Creeps) plastery kit, Songs replenish the mid-era Flying Nun sound, echoing The Clean, The 3D’s and Bailter Space. Sparse and reflective of many of the ’90s decadent riffs and vocal melodies, Songs drive home a sound that’s both whimsical and upbeat, but dogged and rugged around the edges. Opener ‘Farmacy’ is the most pop friendly of the tracks, laying down shifty garage rock riffs and a more charitable rock ‘n’ roll structure. It leads into a more hazy block of songs that utilise fuzz and distortion and lose the ceremonial swing. ‘Oh No’ and ‘Retreat’ shift towards The 3Ds’ more abrasive lineage, pushing the chorus and marking their territory with speedy riffs and bouncy rhythms. ‘Just An Idea’ comes a little later but runs for eleven minutes, tiptoeing between jangly pop and thrashing noise. Fans of The Clean’s 2008 live album Mashed will bask in its openness. Final track ‘My Number’ is a tardy highlight, moving into a darker shoegaze zone with organ pipping incessantly amongst a shredding wheeze of guitar. Songs’ surprise beauty comes not from their originality but from their ability to curve and weave themselves around their influences, with a freshness that sets them apart from the bands they so clearly admire.

Posted by Nick Fulton under Album, Reviews
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