domenica 22 agosto 2010

Bike "Take In The Sun"

E chi poteva farmi scoprire questo gioiellino se non l'ottimo Claudio?
Da innamoramento al primo ascolto. Freschi e spensierati, elevano il guitar pop all'ennesima potenza. Imperdibili. (1997 Flying Nun Records)

If you formed an idea about New Zealand music from just Crowded House and the Mutton Birds, you'd never guess how much noise you're missing. Bike, my favorite recent Kiwi discovery (the album was released in New Zealand by Flying Nun, but was licensed for the US by the Darla-distributed March Records, who earned my buy-on-sight devotion by putting out barcelona and Kleenex Girl Wonder), aren't noisy in the dissonant sense of This Kind of Punishment, the Cakekitchen, or any of Graeme or Peter Jefferies' other projects, but the arrangements are much denser than Finn's or McGlashan's, and rely much more heavily on waves of distorted guitar. A cross between Jellyfish and Sugar (if the clashing food metaphors don't drive you away) seems like a rather inspired idea to me, and many of these songs approach it, Jellyfish's penchant for exuberant melodies funneled through Bob Mould's monolithic guitar roar. The title track is fast and deliciously bleary, Andrew Brough's boyish singing caroming off sun-bathed walls while guitar noise settles over the seaside like a bioluminescent fog. "Circus Kids" feints towards Radiohead's "Creep" and Oasis' "Wonderwall" before blasting off into a swooning Jon Brion/Jason Falkner-ish chorus. "Tears Were Blue" invokes Badfinger, XTC and Ziggy Stardust. "Welcome to My World" combines the warmth of Velvet Crush with the taut obsessiveness of Verbow. "Inside" is what it might sound like if Jimmy Eat World or Lincolnville tried to write a Beatles pastiche, but couldn't stay in character for the choruses. "Anybody Know" settles into a deeper, Oasis-like rock groove, and "Old and Blue" is massive and lumbering, but "Keeping You in Mine" is like Teenage Fanclub in "Brasilia Crossed With Trenton"'s clothes, and the delicate "Sunrise" could be a murky Merrymakers demo. "Save My Life" sounds like it was steeped in a mixture of the noisier Grays songs and Hüsker Dü's cover of "Eight Miles High". And the muted "Slide On By", which eases off the distortion for the verses, rises into an elegant howl again by the end. Hyper-melodic pop can be precious, but not when you can turn it up and feel like the air between your walls has become solid enough to support you. (

- Take In The Sun
- Circus Kids
- Tears Were Blue
- Welcome To My World
- Inside
- Anybody Know
- Old And Blue
- Keeping You In Mine
- Sunrise
- Save My Life
- Slide On By


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