In the past I’ve found the Scots band, for all their strengths (more on those in a moment) a bit prone to a gloomy sameness, that can make more than a few songs in a row just a little much to take.
Well, they are still gloomy; but they’ve incorporated just enough variety this time to hold interest all the way through the record.
Recorded again with Peter Katis (Interpol), this album mopes beautifully.
Singer James Graham is possessed of a strong, bell-clear choirboy tenor, which he uses to croon his fragmentary lyrics (often consisting of just a few opaque phrases, repeated ad infinitum) and folk-inflected vocal melodies.
Perhaps the best part of his vocals is the way he makes absolutely no attempt to suppress his charming, burring brogue, over a textured musical bed that chimes and chugs (and then roars) in all the right places.
The last album No One Can Ever Know emphasized the tense, claustrophobic post-punk half of the band’s equation:
Puppets are creepy:
The song that got me into the band, from their debut Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters:
Post header image sourced from Wikimedia Commons.
There are meetings to go to
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