As one of my fellow reviewers says "these songs are very fast and lo-fi compared to later albums" and i would agree, but that's where my agreement ends i.e to call the album "scrappy" and "not very melodic" is unfair. The Delgados began their life as a noisy, passionate indie band (they were awesome live) and although The Great Eastern is a fine album i think they'd lost a lot of what made them essential by that stage and this debut actually shows them at their pinnacle (musically at least) and this vein is continued on their next album Peloton. Although not perfect there are some great tracks here e.g "under canvas under wraps", "strathcona slung" and "sucrose" are all superb and "leaning on a cane" shows the (quieter) direction that they would follow on later albums. Emma & Alun are on fine form throughout and the band never sounded better although maybe 14 tracks was being a bit over ambitious?
These songs are very fast and lo-fi compared to later albums. All of the songs are short. The energy is good and Emma's vocals are OK. Alun's vocals seem very shouty and the the songs are not very melodic. Songs like Big Business In Europe and Sucrose have their moments but seem hurried.
If you don't already own this album, order it now! This is a perfect introduction to the band - and a fantastic debut from them. I cannot possibly do this album justice in words - it has to be heard to be appreciated. Check out Peloton & the Great Eastern also, but call here first. Domestiques is as close to a perfect album as I've found - it offers great range of songs, depth & incite, plus a refreshingly original sound. The Delgados are truly brilliant. Give them your support.