St Deluxe – S/T
Another highly enjoyable LP that brings to mind past glories. St Deluxe don’t do anything particularly new, what they do do, however, is make an LP that is a pleasure to stick on when you want something to pick your mood up. I know that’s a bit of a daytime TV idea of rock criticism, but hell, to paraphrase Freud, sometimes a CD is just a CD.
St Deluxe seem to wish it was 1990-1, and that they were cutting a record for Paperhouse. Comparisons with the first Teenage Fanclub LP are unavoidable, right from the off with the sludgy riffage of Slip Away. The fact that A Catholic Education is still my fave TFC LP weighs considerably in St Deluxe’s favour... And hey, TFC nabbed enough from Chilton, so (to use another well-worn phrase), people in glass houses…
Onto the music. Can’t Change is great confessional pop, perfectly pitched between lazy, anthemic rock anthem and whispered love song. There’s also a great guitar tail-out that kicks everything up a gear or two. New Wave Stars is a great Sonic Youth-style, thrashy work-out, indeed it’s the great pop tune the Youth never wrote. Crystals sounds familiar too, but I’ll leave the listener to work that one out... Chemical Reaction and Stupid Ideas are simple but effective slabs of guitar thrash that wins you over with their plodding simplicity. Really there’s no point in over analysing such an enjoyably lazily repetitive sound. Best track on the LP is Distant Light which has a lovely soft air to it of whilst indulging in mild synth wobbles and bleeps.
Words: Richard Foster