A cast of thousands?
Extraordinary album this. A vast cast of musicians and influences seemingly sculpted in the studio by careful, intelligent production. Not just for indie fans, this has a universal appeal with the added lure of subtle shades of electronica (Capture The Flag), jazzy post-rock (Pacific Theme), and borderline psychedelics (Shampoo Suicide). The predominating theme lies in the richly textured MBV-meets-Dinosaur Jnr fuzz pop of tracks such as Stars And Sons, Almost Crimes and Cause = Time, which are as good as anything in the cannon of the current rock renaissance (i.e., The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, White Stripes etc.). It is an eclectic collection that sounds more like a label compilation than the work of a particular band, without seeming to try to hard. The distorted, looped vocals of ‘Anthems For a Seventeen Year-Old Girl’ evoke the surreal pop of The Sleepy Jackson while ‘Lover’s Spit’ could be a less-histrionic U2, with its stately piano and haunted vocals. Furthermore, for someone like myself who is not traditionally a indie-music fan, this is a record of remarkable detail that takes many listens to fully digest and appreciate – such is the detail in the production that never threatens to over-indulge the separate players.