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TAKE AN OLYMPUS TRIP WITH IRELAND'S FINEST EXPORT
on 22 August 2011
The Duckworth Lewis Method did much to elevate the profile of head Pug Thomas Walsh in 2009. A top 40 UK album and appearances on national TV and Radio to promote the 'best cricket album ever' helped spur our gallant boys onto a convincing Ashes win. It was also a cracking record.
Well now it's time for Walsh to step back into the spotlight with his own band Pugwash. Anyone with a fondness for melodic, crafted and smart pop/rock will know these Irish boys already. If your new to the Pugwash experience then The Olympus Sound is a wonderful introduction. It may even be the bands finest, and without doubt most coherent and accessible, long player to date.
Now down to a core four piece, with occasional help from Dave Gregory, Neil Hannon and Ben Folds, Pugwash have upped the ante with an album full to bursting with potential hits, delicate ballads and Beachboys quality harmonies.
There You Are, Fall Down and Here We Go Round Again are swaggering guitar pop gems (the latter featuring backing vocals from XTC head honcho Andy Partridge) overflowing with lovely musical flourishes and earworm melodies. First single Answers On A Postcard is a jaunty, cheeky Madness/Small Faces style foot tapper, Be My Friend Awhile the best song Jeff Lynne didn't write and gorgeous closer Four Days is the perhaps Walsh's greatest track yet.
It's hard to criticise The Olympus Sound - it's erudite, beautifully played (stand up and take a bow multi-instrumentalist Mr Tosh Flood) and the vocal arrangements are exceptional. Lyrically peerless (think prime Elvis Costello and Ray Davies) and bursting with clever touches - the parping Penny Lane keyboards on Here We Go Round Again, the perfectly realised string arrangement gracing To The Warmth Of You and the Steely Dan like chord changes and vocals on the stunning See You Mine. Yes there's nothing massively original about what Pugwash do but, when you find yourself grinning like an idiot as yet another mile wide chorus hoves into view, it matters not. And who but Thomas Walsh could compose a ditty based on the tone only dogs can hear - 15 Kilocycle Tone - then turn it into a great tongue in cheek Revolveresque wigout.
FAB. In all senses of the word.
*****This 2012 version of the album comes with 3 bonus tracks - Heal Me, Happy Again & Waltz With Me...all of which are excellent. The latter is a symphonic masterpiece that would have sat happily on ELO's OUT OF THE BLUE and still been a highlight*****
Get this if you like ELO, BLUR, THE KINKS, MADNESS, BEACHBOYS, XTC, CROWDED HOUSE and.......yes The BEATLES.
Download these THERE YOU ARE, FALL DOWN, BE MY FRIEND AWHILE, FOUR DAYS, SEE YOU MINE