|Pugwash - 'The Olympus Sound' (Lojinx)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Wednesday, 04 April 2012 04:40|
Like many power pop bands Pugwash have a predilection for all things '70s. But even within this decade the sounds are so various and so eclectic that, as Pugwash show, there's always room to tap into a sound that sets you apart.
'Answers On A Postcard' has a laid back East Coast flavour favoured by artists such as Andrew Gold. Closer to home, here in the UK, the Scottish soft rock sounds of songsmiths Gallagher and Lyle and Gerry Rafferty are in evidence. There's a nod at the end of the track to the theatrical extravagance of Jellyfish with a chorus of kitschy kazoos and slide whistles.
Modern synths are mixed with mellotrons on 'There You Are' along with a more modern psychedelic Super Furry Animals influence.
'The Warmth Of You' is an acoustic with strings number akin to Soulwax's 'When Logics Die' but with a gently lilting feeling of unease running through it, which lends it a dark-edged Elliott Smith quality. XTC's Dave Gregory is the man responsible for the string arrangement and his mate Andy Partridge pops up later on 'Here We Go Round Again'.
'Fall Down' is the stand out track. It's one of those rare songs that has you singing along to the chorus before you even know how the song goes. I can imagine seeing this on Top Of The Pops circa 1974. There's even something vaguely Foo Fighters about this track and also 'Be My Friend Awhile' albeit if you irreparably smashed Dave Grohl's distortion pedals, forbade him to growl and paired him up with Jeff Lynne.
And the low vocals tones of 'Dear Belinda' further remind me of the quieter moments of the Foo Fighters such as 'Up In Arms' and 'See You'. Piano is provided by Ben Folds - and the big names don't stop there. Neil Hannon is sprinkled all over this album and plaudits from Roger Manning Jr, Eric Matthews, Nick Seymour and Phill Jupitus seem to follow this band around.
But the most aggressive Pugwash get is on tracks such as '15 Kilocycle Tone' which has the psychedelic upbeat mix of The Monkees and The Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and, by default, a Beck-like quality to boot.
Pugwash certainly come with a sideways look at the sound of the '70s. They perhaps edge a little too close to M.O.R. for my tastes - a little too laid back, hazy and dreamy. Evenso it's a consistent and enjoyable listening experience from beginning to end and perfect for those "fuck it" days when you just can't be bothered to leave the comfort of your rattan chair.