The Pop Album
I don’t know a lot about The Doubtful Sounds but I like the charming, low-key, very Bats-like sound to this band. Saturday Night even sings of Kaye with her new guitar – so clearly The Bats figure in their influences, quite largely I suspect.
It’s that same introspective-but-putting-it-out-there sound and there’s a touch of The Mutton Birds to the way the chords chime and shine.
The opener, Pop Album, threatens to pitch the band as being an antipodean They Might Be Giants but it soon settles down into the that’ll do-vocals of Lightly and Mutton Birds-covering-Garageland feel of Here Right Now.
There is so much of the old Flying Nun jingle-jangle in this sound and pop drums that burst into snare-only fills to bust up no-frills grooves.
I’m not sure I’ll ever want to listen to this – but I never mind when I do. I’m sorry I can’t sell it more than that – but there’s just so much of this stuff around. I imagine the fate of The Doubtful Sounds is that they do actually sound quite doubtful. I also figure people won’t ever quite make it to them, but it’s unfair to write them off as simply an inferior band, an inferior part of the Kiwi/Nun-esque brand. Because though some of this is cute, it’s never trying to be cutesy, it’s sweet but never sickly and there’s enough here to make me think we could get a really great album from them sometime.