Friday, 8 March 2013

Phil Yates & The Affiliates - Oh So Sour

Album review by

I don't think we'd be doing Phil Yates & The Affiliates any kind of disservice by saying that they're not trying to break new ground on new album 'Oh So Sour'. The Vermont group have set out to make an indie-rock album, have some fun doing so and then get as many people to listen to it as possible, and that's exactly what they've done. So there are no miracles, no outstanding classics-in-waiting and nothing that will see them haul in an armful of Grammy awards next year. That said, for what it is 'Oh So Sour' is a perfectly fine and solid album, and one that provides and easy and pleasant listen.

We're looking at routine guitar band fare, although there are a few moments that are worth pointing out for extra praise. Not only do they sound like a tight unit, opening track 'Might As Well Settle' is lifted by some guitar work that's best described as jaunty, and we mean that in a good way. In fact decent guitar lines are a running theme; it's the six string that makes 'She Has Your Name' that little bit better. Although much of 'Pretty Girls' is a little mundane, it picks up for the chorus, completing an opening trilogy of note. 'Three Cheers' and the lively 'Teeth Or Pedal' also tie in nicely with the vibe created here.

There's a hint of punk fury in 'Honeycomb' and 'Burn Burn Burn' is nice, but at times we're looking at fairly average rock tunes. 'Loaded' and the very 70s sounding 'What Must Be' are standard rock band defaults; there's nothing wrong with them and it's difficult to criticise something that is perfectly fine. But it's that word, fine, which sums up this album. If you're looking for an impressive or innovative listen then your barking up the wrong tree. Want some good old fashioned alt-rock? You'll find it right here. Turns out it's not so sour after all.

Phil Yates & The Affiliates' website

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