Well worn, worn out and threadbare optimism, worn down to nearly nothing at the elbows. Cynicism creeps through. Jackets undone don’t cover the chest anyhow. I’m sold. ‘Agony’ feels like a once-best black suit donned for a bad date and sat in for several weeks after.
These are pop songs well crafted, happy synth sounds married to misery with enough room in each for the listener to wade through and wallow in. And wallow you will… Jack Wiles(vocals) sounds warm in the murk and its rude not to join him.
‘Falling and Laughing‘ era Orange Juice and Smiths’ ‘Reel Around the Fountain‘ bubble up through vocals that weave through and over a back bone of Mark Connell’s cool-steady bass lines. Connell can flare, pop and fuzz but excels in never straying. Surround this with fine-tuned programmed drums and pinpointed swirls akin to Depeche Mode and Postal Service (and even a hint of Hearts revolution when ‘Falling Down’ lets rip near the end of the album) and you build up a picture of what you have here; misery meticulously measured and mined for your pleasure.
Sometimes it’s good to go down.
Some things are worth sinking into.
Practical Lovers – ‘Agony’.
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