Reviews - Week 43


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The Steinbecks

BRANCHES AND FRONDS BRUSHING THE WINDOWS

Microindie Records

Let's be honest work is work whether you are painting the Forth Bridge or reviewing CDs .Eventually it gets a tad boring and just when you are thinking about pastures new an absolute gem comes your way and everything changes. I defy anybody to listen to this little Microindie offering and damn it with faint praise. It's not alright. The tracks range from well above average to absolute quality.

The Becks have a long and illustrious history and consequently it should come as no surprise that they are rather good. Josh and Joel Meadows are responsible for six high class songs with thoughtful intriguing lyrics which are accompanied by punchy but melodic pop tunes. Let's start with the final track, 'Trying Too Hard'. Surely this is too good to be hidden away at the end. The listener may have given up by this sixth track. Not likely, the other tracks particularly 'Song for Today' and 'Morrel Bridge' ensure that in very different ways and styles, nobody with any taste would cut this recording short.

However the opener, 'Guilty Spring' towers above all the rest. Let it superficially wash over you and you still know that you are listening to quality music but once the lyrics sink in and the true power of this composition becomes really apparent, unless of course you are called George W or are at least a fan of his!!

D Jo

 

 

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The Tidy-ups

Been waiting for a million years for the bus to take me out of here

Fabulous Friends Records

How good does a record need to be to make me wish my hard disk had broken down earlier?

Considering how much I love my computer and how sad I am I lost my London photos along with all my mp3s, it has to be amazingly good. It has to have the sort of songs that colour my world in in the mornings, make my heart melt in the afternoons and put a smile on my face in the evenings. It has to be filled with the sort of music that makes me realise that once again, I had forgotten life's not that bad; the sort of music that has me bouncing around my front room, singing along in the street and getting excited about the future.

Needless to say the Tidy ups do all that.

Except if you really, really like Heavenly, it might take you a while to hear through the ba-pa-pa's, the jangly guitars, the trumpets and the handclaps and notice the songs on this single. To say it's worth waiting until that happens would be unfair because you absolutely have to wait until that happens: there is a way in which the songs on 'Been waiting for a million years for the bus to get me out of here' are perfect, and it's just waiting for you to discover it so it can make you swoon. However it is a subtle perfectness that you could perhaps disregard. But I wouldn't want that to happen to you - I wouldn't want you to have to live on without somebody colouring in your world in the mornings, breaking your heart in the afternoons and making you smile in the evenings with the amazing grace the Tidy ups do - so I'll try to make you see.

To start with I'd say you'll find 'Been waiting for a million years for the bus to get me out of here' at the end of a line that joins the rought sweetness of the Marine girls with the punk popness of Free Loan Investments. Now if you want to be more precise you'd have to paint a few more things in the picture. For example, the charming melodious vocals Slumber Party tried but failed to achieve only to be put in shame by a bunch of Swedish teenagers. Remnants from the time Belle & Sebastian still used to write songs about going to school. Oh and the innocence they still posessed then, which the Tidy ups don't sound old enough to have lost. And last but not least, the irresistibly simple sweetness of Jane's 'It's a fine day'.

The Tidy ups pick all these strings up with amazing grace - looking, or rather sounding, as if they're not doing anything special; they use them to weave short, fast, brilliant pop songs and they don't forget to tie them in a bow at the end. 'Summer will be really nice' in my world is a perfect love song and the greatest ending to an ep, ever.

I miss the bus intentionally just to get on the same one as you
If I miss that too, I take my bike and follow it all the way to school
Just to see you when you're getting off
And though it may not be the feeling that makes people write songs
You still make me feel like spring's coming closer,
And summer will be really nice!

It can also be the perfect beggining to the rest of your life.

Dimitra Daisy

 

 

 

 

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