Monday, 30 June 2014

Album Review - Poor Things - Poor Things

For those of us who surround ourselves with unsigned bands, often when an artist releases their début album, we'll be aware of the sheer joy and utopia they feel at having finally made their artists footprint on the world.  When that settles, and the relief at having ticked 'release an album' off the bucket list passes, the time for critical and artistic review can set in.

In the case of Perth trio Poor Things, who now called Glasgow home, their eponymous release teeters on the lip of their musical influences and their own creative juices.  Which, as it happens, for this record is a perfect place to be.

Poor Things  kicks off with For Edwin Morgan, a Teenage Fanclub drenched dreamy pop number, which espouses the virtues of being young, carefree and looking ahead, a sentiment that, for a young indie band, one might expect.  It's a theme that the writing of Craig Angus mines from on more than one occasion on this album, with tracks such as in Halcoyn Days, 1998 and New Best Friends all displaying youthful nostalgia.

Life One Part Two kicks through with a grizzly Pixies influence, with 1998, one of the teaser tracks for the release of the album, returning to the well of Teenage Fanclub.  Elsewhere elements of Pavement and The Smashing Pumpkins, such as on Yes and Anaconda Man shine through.  However as mentioned earlier, Poor Things  doesn't fall into the pool of it's influences but rather balances on the rim, pulling those indie-pop and alternative vibes into their stories, and their observations.

Two tracks that intrigue me as a listener, are the two that slow proceedings down.  Back to back Freezing and A Drunk Man Considers The Royal Wedding At Kelvingrove Park,  offer a more introspective glimpse, and whilst only a minute long Freezing  conveys that feeling of risk aversion, and fear of taking chances and leaving one's comfort zone; "the water's warm, so why get out when it could be freezing?"

As much as For Edwin Morgan, 1998 and Halcoyn Days are all fantastic songs, the latter two perfect single material, my stand out track is the album closer Master Of Arts which ends upon a cacophony of reverb, feedback and noise, tipping the hat to another music influence Mogwai.  Five plus minutes of great alt-rock which sums up almost everything, influence-wise and lyrically, that goes before in the previous 29 minutes.

- Neil Wilson

Poor Things - Poor Things is out now via Saraseto Records.  You can buy/ listen to the album in full via the below widget or direct from here.

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