10 May, 2014 in Music Reviews
With this indie-rock tale, Glasgow four-piece So Many Animal Calls prove worthy additions to the canon of emotionally-tinged guitar pop
ccents are a difficult instrument to master, with geographical colloquialisms sometimes akin to sticking a square peg in a round pigeonhole. A London accent suggests a ska aficionado, a Southern American drawl a country enthusiast and a Caribbean inflection a reggae or calypso specialist. And what of the Scottish accent? The Proclaimers.
Though Sean McKenna’s vocal line instantly betrays its regional affiliations, Glasgow four-piece So Many Animal Calls are not The Proclaimers. More likely to burrow their foreheads into a duvet than saunter five miles, let alone 500, they trade in the same kind of emotive, drenched-pillow songwriting that’s made the Kinsellas legends of spidery riffage, and Ben Gibbard the bard of damp pencils.
Stories is taken from SMAC’s upcoming sophomore EP Burden. Opening with an atmospheric tone of restrained clatter that recalls their washing machine-sampling countrymen Twilight Sad, the resemblance to American Football is immediate. The melodies are mournful without being hopeless, the riffs blanketing without being overwhelming, and the lyrics tissue paper-thin, yet impenetrabile.
Though mastered by Carl Saff, who has lent his skills to the frenetic pop of Seattle86 collective Joanna Gruesome, this is not music to add bounce and insouciance to your rage. Stories is music to come back down to and find solace in those quiet moments when you feel unable to rise from your bed. Let alone walk 500 miles.
Verdict: Emotive indie-rock