Friday 3 February 2012

Sweet Sweet Lies - The Hare, The Hound & The Tortoise

Album review by KevW

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The new album from Brighton's Sweet Sweet Lies starts off in a reasonably promising fashion. The mildly witty 'Capital Of Iceland' and 'Overrated Girlfriend' ("she's beautiful and  kind of rough and I love my overrated girlfriend") display a pleasant enough watering down of Gogol Bordello's gypsy punk energy and spirit but the shtick soon begins to wear thin, too often falling back on tales of failed relationships that are best described as 'jaunty'. When the mariachi horns kick in the songs sparkle that bit more but it's not enough to rescue them from the default setting of mundaneness.

The titles generally speak for themselves; 'Winter Of Discontent', 'No-one Will Love You (Like I Do)', 'Lady Deceit', 'The Day I Change'... the subject matter is tedious and mostly the songs are no better, it becomes so dreary that it's a challenge to listen to all twelve tracks in one go. There are a couple of moments of colour piercing through the greyness; if you make it through the first three minutes of 'Valentine' you get the wonderful surprise of a commanding instrumental ending, which verges on the glorious and should be something they aim for more often. The album's strongest track is 'Macy', although there is nothing particularly exceptional about it, it's purely a good old fashioned decent tune.

In general 'The Hare, The Hound & The Tortoise' sounds flat, relying on imitation and hoping for the best. 'Too Drunk To Love's ending of "I'm too drunk to fuck, so just kiss me goodnight" just seems crass. The addition of more of their own character would be welcome and the brass really can make sections of this record shine. There's little here to captivate the listener and you're left hoping that true love is found by the next album to save us from another batch of tepid stories of romantic insecurity.

Sweet Sweet Lies' website

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