As with all these records there's a hint of the school music room about them; it's as if everything has to be played at some point (especially piano, as on Swimming). And the accent is always on “taking each song as it comes”.
Sunset Rubdown – Shut Up I Am Dreaming
The slightly anodyne cover (faux naive art, pastel shades) led me to believe we'd get some singer-songwriter stuff, but no, we have a strident voice, thumping drums and aggressive guitar runs. It all conspires to sound a wee bit like something Wolf Parade would do; (those angsty Canadian vocal mannerisms strike again) but I'm not complaining.
The vocals (well, the vocalist's feelings I suppose) really dominate on this record; their distinctive jerky nature informs the music throughout, and you can see this in the first three tracks, you travel from angry (Stadiums and Shrines II) to jaunty (They Took a Vote and Said No) to melancholy (Us Ones in Between) with nary a glitch.
As with virtually all the releases in this "genre" there's a hint of the school music room about them; it's as if everything has to be played at some point (especially piano, as on Swimming). And the accent is always on "taking each song as it comes". As such, you never really get a coherent mood or feeling throughout. This all means that you have incredibly desolate moments such as I'm Sorry I Sang on Your Hands That Have Been in The Grave to rumbustuous stuff like Snakes Got a Leg sitting next to each other. It's worth sticking with it all to hear The Men Are Called Horsemen There, which somehow manages to distil all that this album offers elsewhere in seven minutes.
It's a diverting listen, right enough.
Words: Richard Foster.