SARGASSO TRIO – Burnin’, Burnin’, Burnin’ (Boy Scout)

I am really pleased to be able to include this album in the column, as it is the only album by a band from my home town of Norwich that I can honestly say that I have enjoyed. To date our biggest export has been The Fast Show’s Charlie Higson’s band The Higsons, and they were more of a novelty act than serious contenders, and even though The Sargasso Trio do have a sense of humour – see ‘Free The Saxlingham One’ (Saxlingham – a very small village in Norfolk) from their first EP – they also have a unique sound and a knack for a catchy tune. Musically they peddle folk with an indie perspective, like ‘It’s Hot In Hell’s insistent guitar riff and Emily’s pure vocal making for a song that worms its way into your brain. ‘The Drum’ is all synths and voice, and something of a throwback to the 80’s, while ‘Baby I’m Depraved’ uses synths and moog to create an authentic electro-pop sound, with Emily’s vocal saving it from being too retro. When the band drop the synths they can come up with some truly great songs, and ‘Man Walks’ is one of them. Laid-back guitar and harmony vocals make this a stand-out track, and ‘Heels On Fire’ is not far behind, with its great New Orleans groove on the chorus. ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ is another showcase for Emily’s voice, with the band throwing in any percussive instrument they can lay their hands on, and while they just about pull that off I think that seven minutes of ‘Get Workin’ On Me’ might just be pushing it a bit. The first couple of minutes are fine, but about halfway through out come the cowbells, congas and timbales for a percussive jam session. ‘Step One’ pulls it all back with an acoustic folk song to end the album, and while I will be the first to admit that this album has its flaws, it is still a hell of a lot better than any other local group that I have heard, and so thanks to a band that can finally make me proud of my home town.