Maybe it is because I know that The Pines are based in London, or maybe it is because the only time I’ve seen them play it was in London, but for me "Ttrue love waits volume two" has a distinct London feeling about it. In my mind the harmonies from the duo, consisting of Joe Brooker and Pam Berry, combined with gently strummed guitars seem best at home among secluded residential streets of London. Calm, acoustic tunes glide easily from the EP bringing cleverly worded tails to make you think.
I am nervous writing about the first song on the EP, 'Ungrammatical' because I am atrocious at spelling and often show flagrant disregard for most grammatical rules. The song, sung in cappella by Pam and Joe, tells the story of a strict copy editor who’s frustration mounts as he proof reads articles written by clumsy writers, but forgets all of these rules when writing to the one he loves.
'Marie Claire' is a simple but catchy tune acts out the petty bickering between two people trying to work out why their relationship lacks the passion of the former days.
Although the subject of the matter is poignant, the clever wording of the lyrics contains a dry humour, which is sure to have you smiling.
"Though I maintain it was information not radiation not necessarily devastation..."
"Speaking of which, is your mother coming by tomorrow?"
The EP is beautiful, with a fragile strength that will only grow the more you listen.
Once upon a time, back when I was hardly old enough to go school, Alan McGee still had good taste and Sarah records only existed in
Matt Haynes daydreams if at all, there was a band called the Razorcuts. They made sweet, jangly post punk pop with an underlying poetic streak, lots of 12 string guitars, tambourines, slightly off-key harmonies and a hammond organ that must have broken the hearts of indiepoppers the world over before they were even called indiepoppers.
As time went and while I made my way from primary school to high school, Sarah records worked its way through realesing one hundred singles that changed the way we talk about things, Alan McGee traded taste for a limousine and the heart-broken, teary-eyed fans became known as indiepoppers the Razorcuts split up, acquired a legendary status of sorts and their records became rare and expensive.
Now, not only was that a tragedy but it was an understated one at that too - if you don't know much about a band, it's quite unlikely that you'll ever realise how much they're missing from your life. It would have been a shame if you and I never got the chance to listen to the Razorcuts - believe me - but since the release by Matinee records of a wonderful retrospective collection (aptly titled 'R is for Razorcuts) in 2002, we have no excuse. Except, maybe, that 21 songs by a band you don't know from a time with who's sound you're not old enough to be familiar are a bit too much to take in in one dose...
But then, last April (2003) Matinee solved that problem too by materializing the brilliant idea that is a Razorcuts cd-single. Compiling a song picked from the aforementioned retrospective with four that got away (two of which are early, hard-to-find, previously released on Caff demos) and packaged using period promo imagery, 'A is for the Alphabet' along with being a collectors item is the perfect introduction to the Razorcuts.
Now, you've no excuse left. I suggest you take this cd home and play it - preferably on a pale winter morning or an autumn afternoon or some other sort of empty, quiet time - and you do so however many times it takes for you to realise that the sound of the Razorcuts has indeed been missing from your life. Then, compose a poem titled "How kids like me dreamed before Alan McGee met Oasis" and send it to me on the back of a postcard. Let's make it a competition - I'll bake the winner a big pink cake and buy them "R is for Razorcuts" for their birthday...