A horrible hack

Belle and Sebastian

This Is Just A Modern Rock Song

Year Released: 1998
Format: CD
Label: Jeepster
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Forgive me, if you will, for my sudden and unexpected excursion into the realms of buying some music that you actually have a better than normal chance of

a) finding on the shelf of a British record shop
b) hearing on the radio (not that I have)

But I've only just figured out that there was a chance that I'd like this band. And hey, I think I do.

Well, they make music that sounds like it is a hundred million years old. You could then level accusations of being twee, pretencious or perhaps fraudulent at the band. But presuming they are on the level, and this isn't just one big jape to laugh at certain members of the record buying public, then hurrah for this lot. How on earth they have convinced so many people to buy their records and earn them chart positions is beyond me. Because far be it from me to stereotype, but I'd figure the average B&S fan is probably too scared to even enter an indie record shop, and all power to those fans, as a lot of those shops all rip you off with their Ł13.99 albums anyway. Indie-schmindie.

So.

Four tracks of fantastically awusstic pop music with the old time 'flava'. You know how the Divine Comedy make stupid songs that sound old and are really shit? Belle & Seb somehow skirt around that problem on "This Is Just A Modern Rock Song", and it's SEVEN MINUTES LONG, yay! I love long songs. I think they'd be better with a vocalist who didn't sound so whateveritisthatmakeshimsoundwrong as this one though. Lyrics are oddly amusing, and hey, it has horns. And they don't make me want to jump around the room. Makes a change. Violin too. This is sombre.

"I Know Where The Summer Goes" is a bit iffy mind. Sounds even more dated than the first track, folky pop. Erm, makes me cringe a bit. Sorry.

"The Gate" hands over for some female vocals, mark up a big improvement here over track 2. This is cool. Slow, sorta folky indie pop with piano, and horns and a bunch of real instruments. Word to describe: lovely. Pick o' the bunch.

They finish up with "Slow Graffiti", and woah, what a departure - it sounds like a cross between Refused, Less Than Jake and J Church. Of course I am lying. Wouldn't that be an interesting combination though? "This is just an old pop song". Done slow. Hey, it's good, but I still reckon they'd be awesome with a better vocalist. He makes it sound too much like they are trying to emulate a different era. That guy off the American Football single I just reviewed, he'd do.

Intriguing.

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