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HYDE & BEAST – Slow Down (Tail Feather)

A collaboration between the drummer from The Futureheads and the drummer from The Golden Virgins does not sound the most promising of ideas, but drummers are gradually shedding their reputation for being the least creative members of a band – helped in part I guess by Dave Grohl’s success when stepping out from behind the kit. I must admit that it was The Futureheads connection that prompted me to try this album, as I have not heard anything from The Golden Virgins, but I though it was worth a punt, and my instinct was correct. ‘Never Come Back’ is a good introduction to what they boys have come up with, with surprisingly good vocals, a slithering melody and a catchy chorus. Contrasting starkly with that is the brooding bass-low strumming of ‘You Could Buy Me Anything’, slowed down to a crawl and imbued with an undercurrent of menace. Another swift about turn and we have the indie-skiffle of ‘You Will Be Lonely’, all brushed drums and jangly guitar. ‘Last Chance For A Slow Dance’ has a guitar sound and vocal twists that bring to mind ‘Abbey Road’, while ‘(And The) Pictures In The Sky’ is a reverential cover of the Medicine Head classic. ‘Wolfman Blues’ is just plain weird, sounding like some sort of amateur jam session where no-one really knows the song they are all playing, but things pick up again with ‘Lord, Send For Me’, which has guest appearances from Field Music’s David Brewis and Neil Bassett’s band-mate from The Golden Virgins Lucas Renney. ‘Go To Sleep’ is a mix of dreamy pop and strident indie rock, while ‘Louis’ Lullaby’ closes the album with a lush instrumental that marries Beach Boys harmonics with a 60’s dream-pop feel that entirely lives up to its title. So, after coming to this album with a little trepidation, I have been won over by the class and diversity of the songs on it, and it just shows once again that you should never judge a band without giving them a fair chance, and if that band is made up of drummers then it is even more important.
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