martedì 9 novembre 2010

Llama Farmers "El Toppo"

Passo indietro a mio avviso rispetto allo sfolgorante esordio. Le coordinate musicali bene o male sono quelle, ma mi sembrano mancare proprio le melodie vincenti che nel primo disco invece erano più che presenti.
Il canto del cigno per una formazione comuqnue dignitosa. (2000 Beggars Banquet)

Ah, teenage angst.
Ever since Britpop sparked off the first wave of straight-outta-Sixth-form kiddie punkers--groups like Ash, Bis and Kenickie--the indie firmament has been full-to-bursting with legions of fresh-faced guitar rapscallions eager to turn their amps up to 11.
The proof, though, was always in what happened a few years down the line; cue, El Toppo--the difficult second album from fresh-faced punksters Llama Farmers. The old post-Nevermind formula still holds strong, although admittedly the emphasis now is not so much on the pogo-friendly choruses and bubblegum dynamics as on moody, frayed-string acoustic laments and the odd coruscating wall of grunge-pop noise.
Where it's good, it's not bad--listen to the skewed indie-rock-with-handclaps of "Snow White", or the wishful nostalgia of "Postcards & Moonrock" ("Do you remember the time/we got drunk and danced to Marvin Gaye?").
But too often, El Toppo is just unremarkable indie-pop by numbers, leaving you gazing misty-eyed back to the days when teenage angst didn't sound like it had fallen off the conveyor belt of a production line. (Louis Pattison -

Before you yell "Another guitar band!" at me, allow me to let you know why Llama Farmers are worth listening to.
Single Snow White should do very well in the USA - despite being from a British band it is American college rock. More Salt has some guitar playing worthy of Ani DiFranco and vocal backdrops that call to mind The Stone Roses. Still other songs sound like Nirvana-induced guitar blow-outs.
Additionally, Llama Farmers are in the happy position of being able to work with Clive Martin, a producer who really ought to be as big as Godrich, Orbit, Flood et al but so far isn't, who allows the band's natural energy to flood through into the recording, all the while adding subtle embellishments to the noise that is produced.
As a second album this shows progression - the melodies are tighter than on Dead Letter Chorus and there is more to listen to; serrated guitars sitting alongside fingered acoustic stuff.
If this isn't enough, fine. You're not going to get anything particularly original from this band - at least not yet - but the words "shows promise" were surely invented for them. Just don't expect too much. (Michael Hubbard -

- El Toppo
- Snow White
- More Salt
- Doggy Fudge
- Postcards & Moonrock
- Feathers
- Note On The Door
- Same Song
- Ear The C
- You Bore Me
- Movie
- (hidden Track)


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