Tacky keyboards and cheap distorted guitars,
This review is from: A Sea of Stars (Audio CD)
Following an accidental listening to `Blue Monday' by New Order on some chart radio show, Chris, Canadian-born and Scottish-bred, found that perhaps he wasn't the only one out there. After gorging himself on Factory Records, new wave music and Sarah Records, Chris began to feel that someone else saying almost what he meant to say wasn't quite the perfection he had hoped. With that, Chris bought his first Casiotone - an MT45, which was dated even then - and set about playing with no musical tuition. Not for him was learning someone else's tunes. Instead, the beginnings of songs that appeared on the first album began to take root.
All the songs from the first album, `A Sea of Stars' were written on that ancient little keyboard with its' 8 drum patterns and its' 8 tones. Chris only ever picked up a guitar the first time he entered a studio. The songs from `A Sea of Stars' have slowly matured and developed but at heart they remain played on that tacky keyboard and that cheap distorted guitar, on an outmoded 4-track. The honesty of the album almost bites.
The music swoons and crashes, reminiscent of, say, Pulp, Scott Walker or the Trembling Blue Stars. There are comparisons with the lo-fi of bands such as The Decemberists, Band of Holy Joy, Tindersticks or Casiotone For The Painfully Alone but there's a far darker side to these tracks, maybe more connected to Joy Division, the Durutti Column, Interpol and Thom Yorke. The lyrics convey a sense of yearning and loss, none more so than the conversation taking place in `A Moth Around A Candle', where our protagonist realises that when `lying in bed and wishing you dead' the only conclusion can be 'what's the point of it all?'