Truly indie ‘veterans’, the Dundee five-piece have made their seventh studio album something of a ‘back to basics’ effort. Not that the band have really worked with anything more than the pure rudiments of recording, even their recent releases with award-winning producer Paul Savage have always have had a lo-fi grime swept across them. This is however a return to – almost – the feel of their debut Live At Home. That album was indeed recorded in someone’s house, and this similarly stands on no ceremony. ‘And Now It Is Over’ perhaps deceives a little, kicking into punk rock life with a rousing chorus and chugging driving indie feel, but from then on it’s less hits and more evidence on how the band have never quite made it to the top of the charts. ‘Zappa is Sound’ grinds out a rhythm which rather than going for that killer chorus that the band are quite capable of, instead allows a sort of drunken mumble to sit centre stage. ‘Gold in Her Hands’ just about defines the term ‘lo-fi indie’ while ‘All The Little Things’ is kind of like Prince fronting Pavement (which is just as sexy as it sounds, believe me). As a whole there are as many moments of family-friendly fun as there are of bafflement – bona-fide glimpses of pop genius, contrasting with the band’s intransigent experimentalism, as on ‘Obviously Too Obvious’. And, moments when pop and, er, unpop, collide (’Up Against It’).
You won’t find this album on iTunes or Amazon (order from their website – I’m not sure if this is another side of their ‘no compromise’ stance or that they just can’t be arsed – but we’d not have them any other way.