Monday, May 24, 2010

Album Review: Neverever – Angelic Swells

Take two hot Scots with a penchant for retro, uproot them from the gray of Glasgow and move them to the sun and surf of Los Angeles, and what have you got? I’ll tell you what. You get the absolutely adorable Neverever, and their feisty little debut record Angelic Swells. Neverever is Jihae and Wallace Meek, a couple of musically-seasoned performers who now call each other bandmates as well as their better halves. Angelic Swells is outta sight, daddy-o, and you should absolutely definitely positively own it.

It begins with a rainstorm, gentle 60s guitar strumming, and Jihae’s voice singing “I was crying/half a world away” in a tone somewhere between off-key and the perfect girl group pitch. The song is a reinvention of those classic, early 60s lovesick pop songs, knocked on its ear with some serious riffage as the song progresses. And then, the rain brings the song to a close, and we’re already onto the wickedly wonderful “Blue Genes”. Neverever takes on another persona here, paying homage to some of the finest Glaswegian bands of the early 80s, namely Orange Juice and the fine, fine Josef K. The song possesses some rather good guitar jangling, and is sure to get the kids moving on the dancefloor. And damned if I don’t get a huge kick out of “Bitch Boys”, sounding a bit like a meeting of the minds between Bow Wow Wow’s “C30 C60 C90 Go” along with a hefty dose of girl group (perhaps Spector-esque, even) and a splash of surf.

Moving through Angelic Swells, several things become clear. First, and most obvious, is that this is one heck of a record. I can’t fault a single song on it. Next, Scottish kids really know how to make music. Especially if they’re from Glasgow. And finally, moving to LA seems to be just what the doctor ordered. Hey, it worked for Mr. and Mrs. Meek. They added the best of both cities, the influence of great Glaswegian bands of yore with the chirpy pop sounds of the sun-drenched SoCal landscape and wrapped the strains of the 60s, 70s, and 80s around it all to create their sublime sound. It’s required listening for 2010, my loves, so snap to it.

mp3: Young And Dumb (Neverever from Angelic Swells)

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