wears the trousers magazine


slow club: yeah so (2009)
June 22, 2009, 3:39 pm
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , ,

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Slow Club
Yeah So ••••½
Moshi Moshi

Anyone keeping tabs on London’s antifolk scene over the past few years ought to be familiar with the joyous cacophony that is Slow Club. Having toured their wares relentlessly, Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor have gained a steady following of boys and girls with an ear for a melody and a soft spot for the percussive properties of a chair. Having already whetted our appetites with a string of magnificent singles and last year’s Let’s Fall Back In Love EP, they could have just lumped them together to make an LP to be proud of. But never ones to rest on their laurels, Sheffield’s finest have gone back into the studio to create a whole new bag of folk-pop gems to mix with a few handpicked and re-recorded old favourites, and the results are outstanding. Recorded almost entirely in their hometown, Yeah So was produced by Mike Timm (Pulp, Richard Hawley), and, as with their live set up, Watson provides vocal and guitar duties, Taylor sings and bashes out a rhythm on anything to hand, while friends and fellow musicians help out on everything from backing vocals to glass bottle. 

‘When I Go’ gets Yeah So off to a gentle start with a tale of friendships and romantic back-up plans that aims to charm the pants off its audience right from the outset. Couplets like “If we’re both not married by 24 / will you pass me those knee-pads and I’ll get on the floor” play with the assumed romantic connotations of the boy/girl duo (although they are just good friends) and is typical of the mix of wistfulness and humour that Slow Club weave into their music. This sweet-tempered introduction is blown away by the delightfully raucous ‘Giving Up On Love’, the sound of a band enjoying themselves unabashedly, as big, bold and focused as Motown at its peak. Themes of emotional heartache and relationships coming to an end are everywhere on the album. Fortunately, Slow Club have an innate ability to sound positive, so things never get hopelessly bleak. New single ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful’ mixes a wrist-slashing lyric with a deliriously happy racket to create one of the best pop singles of the year so far. Its nagging chorus of “Baby, I know it’s over / don’t tell me / please wait ’til you’re sober” is perhaps the catchiest thing they’ve ever produced, and that really is saying something. 

The previously released songs that have made it onto Yeah So fit into the grand scheme of things well. ‘Dance ‘Till The Morning Light’, ‘Come On Youth’ and ‘Apples & Pairs’ are given a second airing, while ‘Because We’re Dead’ is a bolt of pop lightning at half-time to let newcomers in on the secret of Slow Club’s history so far. If there’s one minor criticism, it’s that Yeah So sounds oddly like a second album rather than a debut. Slow Club have come a long way over the last few years, and taking so long to produce a full-length album means that the result seems to be conscious of shedding the irritating “twee” tag they’ve been branded with, coming across altogether more mature, restrained and thoughtful. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a shame that the sheer youthful exuberance of ‘Me & You’ and ‘Summer Shakedown’ have been omitted in favour of a more consistent sound. With them, this triumph of an album could have been all the more magnificent.

Richard Steele
UK release date: 06/07/09; www.myspace.com/slowclub 

 

‘It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful’

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3 Comments so far
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saw these lovelies live last year. they rule.

Comment by charlotte

[…] Deradoorian – Mind Raft EP [Scott Sinclair 3/6]   42 Slow Club – Yeah So [Richard Steele 22/6] 43 The Wendy Darlings – We Come With Friendly Purposes EP [Tiffany Daniels […]

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[…] – Fixin’ To Thrill [4.5/5] 52 Spinnerette – Spinnerette [4/5] 51 Slow Club – Yeah So [4.5/5; interview] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Enterprise Computing: Poll Result – […]

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