Wearitwell! Records (label)
30 April 2012 (released)
30 May 2012
For fans of guitar and keyboard based indie-pop, Bristol quartet Experimental Pop Band’s highly anticipated sixth studio album should keep lovers of that genre happy.
Masterminded in the mid 90’s by ace songwriter and engaging live performer Davey Woodward (who had previous success with 80’s outfit The Brilliant Corners), ‘Vertigo’ is a supremely heady cocktail of fourteen eclectic indie/electro pop tracks that are as catchy in arrangement as they are witty in lyrics. Bizarrely, the tracks on the disc are divided into Side 1 and Side 2.
‘Dodo’ – although melodic, has real edge to it and that also goes for the heavy-on-synth composition ‘Little Things’.
The playfulness of ‘Ventouse Sucks’ is more indie rather than floaty pop, courtesy of a distinctive guitar-driven beat, although the constant “la la la la” in the chorus slightly ruins this number for me. ‘Second Best’ is pure nostalgic electro pop, reminding of the days when videos used to be oh so simple… with bands playing in a studio and surrounded merely by quirky props. One of the catchiest tunes on Side 1 is ‘Zed Alley’, fab to dance to and this reminds a bit of Psychedelic Furs.
Davey Woodward’s knack for penning witty lyrics is particularly evident on ‘The Girl With The Back Combed Hair’ – a send-up and melancholic trip down memory lane all in one:
“My first band played out of tune in my brother’s bedroom.
Our first gig all our friends left, now most of our friends are dead.
Skinny jeans that strangle legs. The girls with back combed hair.
Boxing gloves, Punks and Teds, clothes from Paradise Garage.
The Dugout, Turntable, Western Star Domino.
Where did all those people go? The girls with back combed hair.”
Somewhat peculiar is ‘Can You Feel The Heat’ for the track feels much more like a light and crisp, hum-along-to 60’s pop number.
‘Vertigo’ and ‘Soapstar’ won’t set any dance floors ablaze for sure, merely plodding along rather than bounce chirpily. Nonetheless, especially the latter still manages to charm thanks to hilarious lyrics: “I was a soapstar now I’m selling cheap after shave / The satellite dish shows all my hits of yesteryear / I used to look oh so fit but now I’m fat and grey / My puffa jacket can’t compete with Giorgio Armani.”
All in all, the tracks on Side 1 have a more energetic drive and exciting beat to them, whereas Side 2 is more of a ‘kick back and LISTEN to the music’ affair. Depending on ones mood, either side has its plus points.