As soon as you hear the almost-a Capella intro, you know, at least you hope, that you are about to be faced with something a bit special as the album plays out. As soon as you hear the first proper track, I Can’t Turn It Off, and you know that you are in safe hands.
But it is often difficult to really put your finger on what it is that they do that takes them out of the realms of regular rock/indie/alt-pop and sets them apart from the pack. Perhaps it is the richness of the vocal treatments that give them that cosmic quality. Maybe it is their ability to play pop music like a rock band or indie music like a folk band. Perhaps it is the sheer adventurousness and originality of their songwriting. It could even be that their music echoes with all of the strange post-punk-ness, 80’s alternative, college rock and new wave sounds that formed my formative years, yet still sound nothing but of the here-and-now. Maybe it is best we don’t know and just revel in what a great sound they fashion. After all, life should be about mystique, should it not?
Most genres of music have been a bit lacking of late. Pop has gone formulaic. Rock is resting on its laurels. Indie is self-consumed with its own image. In fact, there are few bands adding anything refreshing and exciting to the musical landscape at the moment. Present Company excepted!
(No, I didn’t write the whole review just to set up that punning play-off. Well, maybe a bit.)