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Alan Smithee and his merry band of guitar-bothering tune-makers from Livingston first graced our speakers with their very fine single 'Surplus' last summer. This time, they're not only offering the two tracks on the conventional single, but those who pre-order the tunes (out on April 7th) from Bandcamp will receive a bonus track for free, and you'll get it instantly. So you could think of 'Missing Tongues' as a little something to tide you over until the full release, but it's better than that. As indie-rock type bands go, alansmithee are multifaceted to a certain extent, but they're also reasonably conventional in what they do. So this freebie is definitely an added bonus and not just something to con you into parting with cash early. This is a song that you will listen to again, and if any of you were into AC Acoustics then this beauty should be right up your street.
If we then compare the bonus tune to 'Snooze' we see a difference right away. 'Snooze' has that classic British guitar band sound. You can trace it back to The Kinks, The Animals and others from that era, but the darker verses bring us closer to the post-grunge sound of the 1990s, and then in another twist we get a psychotic, Cramps-like break. The band don't stay in the same place for too long here, and this is definitely to their credit. Vibrant, noisy guitar-pop doesn't often have dynamics like this. 'The Almighty Alan Smithee Blues' might have you thinking they're going all 12-bar on us, or trying to emulate Peter Green. But in reality this is a subtle and almost spooky track with echoes (no pun intended) of early Pink Floyd. So not really all that bluesy, but the influence is here. Again they change the dynamic of the song and it builds into something more substantial and trippy towards the end. They're not short on ideas, that's for sure.
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