Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Stephen Hudson & The Fiat Pandas - 'Yer Grandma’s Pearls'/'Mrs Steklenberg'

Single review by soul1@thesoundofconfusion.com


Some sounds are simply timeless, although I guess that could be a subjective rather than objective statement. Since punk pressed the reset button, bands have been making guitar-pop, whether it be the jangle of '80s indie, the fuzz-rock that grew from similar ideals, or bands skipping back to the beat explosion and the music of groups such as The Byrds, The Beatles, and so on. Stephen Hudson and the Fiat Pandas are one such band; the Lancaster group even talk about bands like The Violent Femmes, Sparklehorse and the early recordings of Rod Stewart (given recent years, it's easy to forget that in the late '60s he was good!). The two love songs on this single will bring to mind other bands, but the sound is classic and expertly made, and the writing matches it every step of the way.

It's classic powerpop first and we dive headlong into 'Yer Grandma's Pearls', a song that has the melody of bands like Big Star and Teenage Fanclub, and also the buzzing guitars that characterised the Scots' early records. If you're a fan of any music that could be in some way described as "indie" then you can't fail; you will like this song. After this giddy rush the pace drops for the equally good 'Mrs Steklenberg'. Here they don't hurtle through glorious melodies and euphoric guitars like before, they begin in a very downbeat manner, but this changes. The simple chords and the steady build are almost hymnal, and the vocals too start to lift. Suddenly we're hit by a stuttering. broken drum beat and louder guitars, although this is only brief. This tale of the love a school boy has for his teacher (who would be dismissed and charged should anyone find out) isn't dirty or perverted at all, it's more a sad tale of heartache that the married woman will forever be out of reach for more than a few brief moments. As we reach the crescendo of the ending, the drums and the buzzing guitars begin to crash together and tie in nicely wit the sound of the first track. No awards for originality, but top marks for execution.

Stephen Hudson & The Fiat Pandas' website

Buy the single





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