As the wizards discussed on podcast number 20, this month they undertook an intra-wizard 1p Album Club swap.
The full discussion can be heard on this podcast, but here are the details of my swap with Rebel.
The Snitches – Star Witness
Bought by Rebel for Kicker
There were three things I noted before actually listening to this album:
- This is a band I have never heard of.
- The cover has a communist star behind silhouetted members of the band in suitable rock poses and is therefore ace.
- The band appear to be Canadian.
With all that in mind, I quickly burnt the CD to get it onto my iPod to listen to ‘on the move’. Interestingly, or perhaps not, another pre-listening fact emerged. My computer read the disc as being by a band called Migala* and not The Snitches. What could all this mean?
Well, on first listen, it seemed to mean that this was a band who had heard plenty of power pop and perhaps too much Ween. There seemed to be enough here to make listening the requisite number of times not too unpleasant (a good album length here of just 38 minutes), but only really one track (Right Before My Eyes) made me think it could be a winner.
So, after 6 good listens, here’s a rundown of the whole album:
December 21 – the opening track starts with a pretty neat riff and tumbling drums and, frankly, silly vocals. No bad thing. Whoah-oh-oah-oah!
Pinkie Standing – builds on the opener with a better riff played twice as quickly and adds bubbly keyboards. Less silly vocals too despite seemingly singing about sticky-out little fingers. Possibly. Top watery solo too. Nice.
Right Before My Eyes – still the best song with its anthemic chorus and Gatling Gun type vocals. This really reminds me of early Cheap Trick and this is very much a good thing. It seems to have some form of revolutionary zeal about it too.
Willie – extra whooshy noises at the start is a winner, but the song slows down and I lose interest pretty quickly.
In My Head – the vocals are a bit annoying on this one – I guess they were going for quirky, but there’s a thin line that has been crossed here. Still it’s all over pretty quickly and on to the next one…
Perfect Gentleman – seagull sound effects! Is this a reggae lilt I detect? It is! Oh dear.
Wednesdays On My Mind – another slowie that starts dull and gets more boring.
Gets Me Down – a promising riff opens this one, but it goes into a sub-Santana shuffle with strange whispery vocals. This is now getting me down.
Sugar Mommy – there is a very pleasant squeaky guitar noise on this track that raises it above the humdrum, but the trite lyrics pull it back down. It’s been a while since I liked a track on this album…
Crazy Talking Girl – oh shit, another slowie and this time it’s very slow. Like Pixies on mogadon, but not as good as that sounds.
Swallow – this is a bit better – the vocals are rawer and more interesting and we get a riff that keeps my interest despite a noticeable lack of pace. Play this one twice as fast, boys, and you’d have a winner.
Slut Shark – hooray, a quicker one to finish and this one had me thinking of one hit wonders, The Knack. It also had me pining for the opening trio of songs on this album.
So there we have it. The Snitches – Star Witness would make an excellent 3-track, and pretty good 5-track, EP for anyone who likes Cheap Trick and/or Aussie n’er-do-wells, The Vines. The whole album though, slumps horribly in the middle for me despite the rather touching lack of pretention throughout.
*Migala – a Spanish post-rock outfit on Sub Pop apparently. No, me neither.
Right Before My Eyes
Previous 1p Album Club Swaps:
Dawn Of The Replicants / Pretty Girls Make Graves