Article by KevW
If you happen to live in the UK, things have been pretty bleak lately, and not just because of the miserable weather. The general swell of public opinion was that we shouldn't go and bomb the crap out of Syria, but the Tory-led House Of Commons voted that we should. How long before we have troops out there killing and getting killed? Without wishing to get too political and go off on a tangent, many of us could do with a bit of cheering up, a little sunshine in our lives. Step forward Scottish indiepop heroes Strawberry Whiplash with their second album 'Stuck In The Never Ending Now', the follow-up to 2012's rather splendid collection 'Hits In The Car'.
You can't get much more direct than beginning your new record with the delightful jangle-pop of 'Every Day The Sun Shines Brighter', a perfect indiepop tune that's simply irresistible, with the elegant music matching lyrics like "every day the sun shines brighter, every day with you/now every day the world seems better, every day with you" which are simple but highly effective. It's a match for anything they've recorded to date. 'If Surface Were Depth' is another summery tune which explores the beauty that lies beneath the surface and fits in with the less scuzzy end of the C86 scene. The song 'Never Ending Now' could also be lifted from that decade and is another slice of breezy, faultless pop music - this album is riddled with them. Dreamy number 'Fly Me Over The Rooftops' is another that will put a smile on your face, and 'A Brave New Scene' is the shot of vitamin D that you've been lacking, while '60s girl group sounds are given an indie makeover on 'All I Ask For Is Everything'.
'Time Takes You Away' and the bubbly 'Life's Rich Tragedy' have echoes of DIY indie that grew out of the punk scene, and 'Halcyon Morning' even more so, yet, like the entire record, Strawberry Whiplash manage to attain this effect without ever resorting to lo-fi tactics. These are fully realised tracks. There's not much on 'Stuck In The Never Ending Now' that could be called dark, although 'Too Close To Call' has a more pensive outlook, but still sparkles with a crystal clarity and includes some retro guitar twangs, and despite being a little lighter in tone, 'Ride The Waves To The Shore' is another that feels more wistful. They end with a thoughtful song in 'This Is All We Have' which again borrows a few tricks from '60s girl-pop and is an great way to round things off. If this is all they have then it's still more than enough. Strawberry Whiplash may have taken a while to give us their second full-length, but in doing so they've affirmed their status as one of the finest indiepop bands going.
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