Opossom – Electric Hawaii

It’s an energetic record too: full of arching choruses that vault and swoop. Like some desperate street trader looking to hold a crowd’s attention Opossom pitch these chorus lines at you without worrying about the result.

 

http://www.firerecords.com http://www.konkurrent.nl

 

A really enjoyable pop LP, even if it’s just that little bit hysterical, and even if it’s only for this moment in time. If you don’t like 60’s pop or songs that sound like Beck’s and Flaming Lips’ 60’s borrowings then I’d look elsewhere, as this is Electric Hawaii’s forte, right from the off. Opener, Girl has a refrain that is straight from the Velvets (you know the bit where Nico sings “What A Clown” in Femme Fatale? It’s that). This is a cheeky, bubbly record, full of fizz and impudence. If melody wasn;t enough, Electric Hawaii has a lot of messy endings and weird trippy noises that come straight from ’66-70. Think Pretty Things or Monkees, or, (if you aren’t that venerable yet), think Beck or Flaming Lips at their most choral and wide-eyed. As with all new records of this type, the band often tries to update the template to fit modern day musical concerns – sometimes too self-consciously. For instance, Fly’s beat feels welded on to a score for a sixth form musical, though the spacey Rubbles organ sound helps even things out a bit. It’s a slobby, Beck-ish afterthought. Beck also springs to mind with Blue Meanies (I told you that they like them 60s pop songs didn’t I) the springy beat kicking the harmonies around like a beach ball on a sunny beach.

It’s an energetic record too: full of arching choruses that vault and swoop. Like some desperate street trader looking to hold a crowd’s attention Opossom pitch these chorus lines at you without worrying about the result. Tracks like Getaway Tonight are brazenly confident; there are a lot of ideas being thrown about and stunts being pulled. This can be wearing after a while, but now and again they allow some space in their music: Watchful Eye and Outer Space are more restful and benefit from it. I’d love to see them try something really slow and trippy (like the Pale Saints’ Deep Sleep for Stephen from example). But to be fair there are some sublime tracks, perfect for an inconsequential summer day. Why Why and Cola Elixir are the killer moments when the enthusiasm, wit and arrangements come together to make something that is more than the sum of the whole; possibly because they strip back the sounds and let the song’s structure just do its stuff. The riff and groovy beats on both tracks set up the explosion of the chorus brilliantly, it’s like shaking up a bottle of pop before letting the liquid explode out of the neck. Both tracks are incredibly reminiscent of the kind of pop the Monkees made, and the guitar riff on Cola… is pure Stacey Sutherland.

Enjoyable stuff, and there to soundtrack good times.