(Wooden Piano Records)
Is Boo Hewerdine of The Bible fame likely to be involved as Executive Producer on a duff project? Is a recording also produced and mixed by Chris Pepper likely to be more than listenable? The answers are definitely No and Yes, respectively….hence Lawrence O’Shea has chosen well as regards cohorts for this album. Originally a one-man project, this is now a band itching to perform, I understand.
Starting cut Molly Ringwald reminds me of Felt. Blessed with an impressive lower-end voice and good diction, the song is a sitter for Squeeze fans. Subject matter is teenage crushville. I don’t care for the synth tones but I rarely do unless they are subtly used. A nice dynamic song that is fairly catchy and has a neat stagger towards the end. Time Thieves uses a stabbing tempo that somehow gives the number a European feel. A tempo change is handled well. The vocal delivery here is pure Divine Comedy but that isn’t a bad influence to have, is it?
Work In Progress works in slide guitar for an almost transatlantic vibe but the song is a piano ballad, with a voice change to suit. So far, so versatile. Sure Thing is altogether more stealthy, the piano tone hints at Supertramp and the upfront electric bass sounds good. Probably the best vocal on the set here, a tinge of later Bowie. The lyric is streetwise, in a Joe Jackson way. The guitar break uses reverse delay and I am sucker and user of that! Silent Film is a wan sort of sound, reflective and drifting into waltz time. This and Cracked Actor by DB would make a fine radio sequence. Excellent drumming and tremelo’d electric guitar deployed here.
Mademoiselle seems to be a prominent cut for promo, with its Suffragette City pacing and insistent synth. Another picture painted and the group sound is rich without being OTT; Grey Dress has an elegant old-timey piano centre and the vocal is almost conspiratorial. A latterday McCartney sway infuses this composition.
Get Back To The Sun heads psychwards, an airy dreamlike atmosphere prevails. It almost sounds like a song from a hippie musical. The vocal arrangement is very cool and underlines the effort to make each song have its own vibe. That worked on Revolver, so why not? Hello Beautiful has a gorgeous acoustic setting and the softer voice is utilised. Soon the song is skipping along as the melody evokes A Day In The Life here and there. The set ends with instrumental End Of The Reel – another cinematic reference- solemn piano arpeggio’s into earshot and you just hear sepia, really! Perversely, this would make a great set opener.
Very English, very well arranged, attractively sung. Can these songs form or be tweaked into a dynamic live set? We shall have to wait and see….
(Thanks go to James S) You can listen to ‘Mademoiselle’ in this article.
Talk-Show’s new album ‘Permanent Honeymoon’ is out now on Wooden Piano Records.
For more information visit the band’s official website here: http://bit.ly/2jG04pe