record reviews march 2021

THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH

The Falling (Fuzz Club)

TheFalling

Originating in Manchester and now based in Berlin, fronted by Craig Dyer this is decidedly an album for those who have a thing for the folk noir sound of Nick Cave, Amigo The Devil and The Tindersticks filtered with a streak of Dylan and Cohen, the latter’s influence most obviously heard on the strummed and harmonica-laced Vergriss Mich Nicht, which, despite the title, is sung in English.

Piano, guitar, accordion and violin provide the musical wardrobe, painting in deep cinematic colours and etched with confessional introspective lyrics, it opens with the brooding title track and moves through the equally heavily Cohenesque Egyptian Queen and And I…

It doesn’t really vary the shade or pace, the mood either sombre, melancholic or despairing, although For You Are The One does take the tempo up a drunken lurching notch, though the press release description of it as “livelier” and “bouncing” is somewhat stretching the definition. Magnus Westergaard from Danish neo-folk outfit Dune Messiah guests on the echoey desert-noir Cabinet Of Curiosities and it ends with the ghostly (de-tuned?) piano-led Letter From A Young Lover, written to a younger version of himself, presumably locked in a sparse bedroom, eyes black with mascara, soaking up Songs Of Love And Hate and wallowing in unconsummated dreams of romance. It does, rather inevitably, fall a little short of its influences, but, if you’re of the persuasion, it does the job well enough. Mike Davies


GOAN DOGS

Call Your Mum (Self-released)

goan

Based in Bristol, according to the press blurb, the quintet “utilise dark elements of experimental electronica with warped guitar chords to confront and sculpt an unconventional structure into an exquisite piece of indie-pop with universal accessibility.” I don’t know about that but the opener Anxiety clearly takes a cue from The Specials while I Can’t Sleep has some definite Queen multi-harmony DNA circulating in its dark moody veins and the rest of the rest of the album certainly has an affection for the accessible side of 80s electronica pop (PSB, Erasure, Depeche Mode) with the likes of the walking beat Nothing Like This, the R&B infused God Loves A Trier, a lurching Shut Up and the funk bass line and Nile Rodgers-like prowl Drinking On A School Night all well worth you and your mother’s attention. Mike Davies

roots-and-branches.com 2020