Don’t ask why, but last month I ended up in Swansea, UK, and knowing that a new album was on the way from the band that took their name from this city, you’ll understand that I kept my ears open. I heard traffic, construction work and seagulls (drowned out in the evening by the rain on my umbrella), noises that have little to do with the music of Swansea Sound, but share the raw what-you-see-is-what-you-get mentality. Anyway, after their stellar Live At The Rum Puncheon LP and fun Music Lover EP, the indie supergroup now returns with their sophomore full-length, looking back on the end of the Twentieth Century. Hue Williams (vocals), Amelia Fletcher (vocals, keys), Rob Pursey (guitar, bass), Bob Collins (guitar) and Ian Button (drums) drop twelve new C86-esque pop-punk songs, jangly and melodic. With the dark humor typical of the British, they sharply reveal that the legacy from before the turn of the millennium has some flaws (the first lines of the opening track: “Paradise got digitized // Lithium and cyanide”). The tunes are punchy and melancholic and contain clever hooks and sing-along choruses, interaction between male and female vocals provides extra tension. This is indie as it was meant to be, sounding more appealing and exciting than any city does.
Twentieth Century is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Skep Wax Records.
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