Friday 16 September 2011

Sad Day For Puppets - Shift Another Color

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To coincide with November's Japanese tour, Swedish five-piece Sad Day For Puppets are set to release a compilation of rarities, b-sides and new versions of tracks from their debut EP 'Just Like A Ghost'. Available digitally worldwide (and with a CD exclusive to Japan due in October), 'Shift Another Color' is more than just a tying up of loose ends for completists, it also acts as a great introduction for those new to SDFP's sparkling melodies and squalling shoegaze guitars – matching the quality of their two studio albums thus far, whilst also being a concise seven tracks.

Last year's stand alone single Again opens proceedings in grand fashion. Few bands could afford to not include a song of such calibre on a studio album, and the same can be said of 2009's double A-side When You Tell Me That You Love Me/Withering Petals And Dust, the former of which appears twice here; the heartbreakingly tender original version and the blistering, surging rework. Three previous EP tracks are also given the walls-of-guitar makeover. Set Alight is the most successful, the injection of sonic steroids boosting what was already one of their finest moments, whilst Big Waves is also improved by a less drastic facelift, retaining the fragility of the original. Less successful is the beefed-up remake of Hush which loses some of the soul and sweetness of its 2008 predecessor.

On the whole any criticism of 'Shift Another Color' is nitpicking, there isn't any filler here and the compilation of these recordings is useful and worthwhile rather than a fan-exploiting cash-in. It also marks a transition for the band, the lullaby-like melodies remain intact but are being increasingly coated with layers of guitar which are more than worthy of comparisons to the likes of My Bloody Valentine or Dinosaur Jr. SDFP are gradually evolving, honing their sound, and the fact that they're still relatively unknown is criminal. Bring on the next album.

Set Alight 2011 Sad Day For Puppets by HaHa FONOGRAM

Sad Day For Puppets 'Big Waves 2011' by Sonic Cathedral

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