Friday, April 27, 2007

No Shouts, No Calls

No Shouts, No Calls
Too Pure
UK release 30/4/07

Four albums into their career, Brighton four-piece Electrelane are now investigating the murky world of... pop. Having decamped to Berlin for a spot of summertime songwriting, they returned with a, dare I say, jaunty album focusing on love. Yes, the cinematic organ-grinders have gone all gooey and reflective at the same time and it works. There are still moody noodlings and the odd vocal squall but generally, everything is quite clean-sounding and bright.

The one oddity remains Verity Susman's singing. It seems odd for a vocalist to be developing her sound on a group's fourth album but it sounds as if Susman is still not sure about vocals. And considering they started out as an instrumental outfit, perhaps the group isn't either. Whatever the case, Susman sounds as if she is straining to reach high notes, growling on the low ones and generally wavering all over the shop. All quite quirky but it works for her.

Musically, the album is gorgeous. The drums sound chunky and propulsive on tracks like "The Greater Times, "To the East" and "Five". "Between the Wolf and the Dog" is a bit of a Blondie-esque rave-up and "Cut and Run" features ukulele. Lyrically, our heroines are pondering love, love, love. The aforementioined "Cut and Run" sounds like a lament to a first love. "Saturday" sounds like a playground taunt to a lost love and "To the East" sounds gooey but features frankly indistinct lyrics.

Still growing as a band, Electrelane may be a bit hard to follow through their explorations but this one is a grower. and/or

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