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Welcome – “Sirs ” – [Fat Cat]

Thurston Hunger   4/15/2007   A Library, CD

Why isn’t it easier to find albums like this? A consistent pop bopper
that doesn’t try too hard nor is it too lazy (“dude, just use the presets
and that rhyme from the last album”). Bassist Jo Claxton sings on some
numbers with a nice daisy-sewed-on-yer-jeans voice and guitarist Pete
Brand sings on the others with a mighty Mersey urgency! The songs and
the album are short but spot on and leave you wanting more, catchiness
melded with a scratchiness works for me. If they’ve been together for
ten years as I’ve read, I would have expected a more tired release. Of
course I wouldn’t expect Seattle to be so close to Britain, but clearly
this band gets that continental drift. Lyrics seem comfortably left-field
images of Jimmy Stewart, satellite dishes and a cellphone in the bathroom
(if you want to make a law about cellphones, maybe start there before you
take it out of my car). For the less lyrically-inclined there are enough
audio oddities dropped in to keep jaded ears listening, while necks are
snapping along to the freak beats. A nice vox humana at the end of
“Actual Glad”, whistley synth alarm on the title track and then a soft
stumbly coda make that number a sorta siamese twin. “With You With Me”
has a recognizable firebell clang for a few bars. Man, I even thought
I heard a mellotron on “First”. Every track offered something, nothing
wore my Welcome out!

-Thurston Hunger

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