It’s that time of the month where I talk about a couple of records that were released that I didn’t get a chance to review in full so I give you some short and concise opinions on them. This episode of Micro-Reviews takes on Little Comets and Dutch Uncles.
Little Comets – Hope Is Just A State Of Mind
Hailed by many as England’s answer to Vampire Weekend, Indie band Little comets take inspiration from a wide variety of genres much like the band they’re compared to. On Little Comet’s third album they don’t explicitly pull from African music like Vampire Weekend or even go as exotic as them, but from track to track they jump around with their styles, while constantly making sure they fit nicely into that little pocket of Indie Rock/Pop that finds pretty voices being worshipped.
From the pop friendly harmonies on the opening track ‘My Boy William’ to the way they play with guitar tones and electronic dabblings like on the track ‘Wherewithal’, they sound like a band who’re willing to see what they can do with their sound. They often play over tight grooves with arpeggio guitar pieces that are often pretty and have immense chemistry. Lyrically this band are also sweet talking about how he wants his son to hold on hope for his dreams on the song ‘My Boy William’ or for what seems to be the lead singer attempting to apologise to all women on behalf of all men on the song ‘The Blur, The Line, The Thickest Of Onions’ (if you look at the title and the topic alone, it seems like a jab at Robin Thicke and his big dick). But even though they like to explore a large array of topics, there aren’t any lyrics that grab you, mostly due to the fast and choppy way they’re often delivered. To compare them once again to Vampire Weekend, they don’t quite have the self-awareness or wit that they do to truly breakthrough and stand out in a genre where there’s so much complacency.
This band is certainly another breath of style over substance. One that although never quite sound that original and are hard to not imagine them sounding extremely similar to so many other Indie bands, show that they’re actually capable of exploring and showing that they’re talented as musicians.
Best Tracks: My Boy William, Wherewithal, B&B
Dutch Uncles – O Shudder
British Indie band Dutch Uncles are known for their atypical time signatures, their pop sensibilities which make them accessible but not to the point of complacency and their lead vocalist Duncan Wallis’ androgynous vocals. Nothing really has changed too drastically on their new LP, apart from the fact that on here they’ve decided to explore very adult themes such as unemployment, or pregnancy, or something inane along those lines.
They never really explore any of these topics to actually make them interesting unfortunately, sounding more like a description than an in-depth analysis of topics or even a fun take on them. All of these songs are sung over the top of this instrumentation that sounds much like it’s influenced by pop music of the 80s. With brightly coloured synths, snappy guitars and a vocal delivery that often sound similar to Haim, but a lot less fun. This band has the talent to put together a decent instrumental like they always have and it’s still evident on here; they’re willing to push themselves reaching for different ways to arrange their music like the song ‘Tidal Weight’ which features these lush strings mixed in with their love of synths and snappy guitars. It’s a shame that the vocals that pedal the slight dullness of the lyrics is pushed ever so slightly too far forward in the mixing.
Best Tracks: Tidal Weight, Babymaking