Monday, 1 October 2012

reviews: y niwl, omega male, holly golightly and the brokeoffs

Y Niwl - 4 EP (***)

Surfing in North Wales may involve a thicker wetsuit and a lot more shivering than its Californian equivalent, but in Y Niwl, the scene’s got a surf-rock soundtrack virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The accuracy with which the Gwynedd quartet recast the sun-blushed East coast sounds of Dick Dale, The Ventures and the like is uncanny, their short and snappy instrumental jams ticking every expected box: guitars are tremulous and reverby, rhythms crisp and constant, melodies straightforward and fun. Their fidelity to a fifty-year old blueprint would reek of novelty were it not so skilfully delivered, and though its appeal will likely be limited to existent genre aficionados, Y Niwl sound rightly proud of their niche. 

Out today

Omega Male - Omega Male

Omega Male is David Best of Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi and Sammy Rubin of Brooklyn’s Project Jenny, Project Jan – a partnership started at distance and completed in a pair of sessions in their respective home towns. Both members’ day jobs are discernible: Best’s comically flippant vocals are dryly delivered over motorik electro à la F&J, but the atmosphere’s been loosened by some of PJ2’s more unbuttoned pop tendencies.

It’s a successful synthesis, particularly on tracks like You Bore Me to Tears (which creeps in with whispers and bows out with horns), Buildings Like Symphonies (which meshes cinematic faux-orchestral crescendos with analogue bleeps and a glitterball climax) and the dark and dangerous X. Best comes across as the dominant creative voice, and while Omega Male sometimes feels too close to his other work to feel like its own distinct entity, when its levels find their synergy, it’s highly effective.

Out 8th October

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs - Sunday Run Me Over (***)

Sunday Run Me Over is Holly Golightly’s fifth album in five years with Lawyer Dave (aka one-man backing band The Brokeoffs). For most artists, this would constitute a significant creative run, but Miss Golightly isn’t most artists, her discography noted as much for its prolificacy as its proficiency.
Her latest record’s rustic, rootsy style is nicely summarised by a trio of country covers, including a rough and ready Hard to be Humble (preceded by some endearing Facebook-riffing tomfoolery), and an impious re-write of Opry staple We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus (And A Lot Less Rock N Roll) that switches the ratios and broadsides religious hypocrisy. Around these, the duo’s original compositions hold their own, particularly hoedown closer This Shit is Gold, and though they don’t bring any new ideas to the table, they know a few solid tricks when it comes to enticing folks to dance on top of them.

8th October

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