Sunday, July 26, 2009

FROM THE INTRAY: Lacrosse, The Phenomenal Handclap Band & Southside Stalkers

A trio of recent intray/inbox arrivals here at Folly of Youth. The first is the second album from Stockholm's six-piece indie-popsters Lacrosse. "Bandages For The Heart" has exactly the right mixture of high-gloss production, catchy melodies and cute boy-girl vocals you would expect to be exported from Sweden these days.

I haven't got much further than the first two tracks in honesty. But that's because those two songs have done such a good job at lodging themselves in my head; particularly "We Are Kids" which mixes 80s New Order, stomping 60s Motown and any decade twee-pop to wonderful effect:

Bandages For The Heart [BUY]

I came across The Phenomenal Handclap Band through their cracking double-dutch-style song "15 to 20". This has become a firm summer favourite (despite the lack of a summer) and even Daughter 1.0 has been infected by its - er - infectiousness. Following swiftly on was the full (self-titled) album out in the UK on Tummy Touch. That track is not wholly representative but the album is still a great listen. The 12 tracks sound as though they were recorded in a New York studio between '69 and '73 and then sealed in a time capsule for posterity. It's a groovy melting pot of latin-funk, boogaloo, psyche-soul and sunshine pop. Very New York, very summery.

15 TO 20
The Phenomenal Handclap Band
Self-titled [BUY]

And finally I was emailed by Bluesong Records (me neither) the new single from Southside Stalkers: "It's now time for the Swedish indiedarlings to release their new single from their sophomore album. Not a day too soon you say? Well, so do we". Naturally my interest was piqued by the phrase 'Swedish indiedarlings' and discovering they are also from Stockholm. Alas the single does not deliver fully on the promise.

Lead off track "Bones" mixes lo-fi garage-rock and twee-pop to re-write "Dem Bones". It's a bit too comical - I think it wants to be The Raveonettes or The Cramps but it comes across like a pub cabaret comedy duo playing for cheap laughs. However second song "Robert Downey Jr" is much more interesting - a 1 minute and 47 second jangle-pop romp that disguises the lo-fi production with a singalong chorus and sleighbells. More of this please Southside Stalkers and less of the former.

Southside Stalkers
[BUY at Bluesong Records]

No comments: