Everyone knows THE POSIES, right? Everyone knows that the band formed during the late Eighties in Seattle; that their cross-pollination brand of pop and rock is the antithesis of the music that the city was to become famed for; that they have developed a massive cult following and garnered much critical acclaim.
‘Everyone,’ that is, apart from me perhaps. I had always been aware of the name of course, but it made me think of them being like an effeminate punk band and so I never made any effort to check them out!
I say this because it means that I was able to listen to this album without any real prejudice. Without gauging against their earlier accomplishments; judge it as a ‘one off,’ in effect.
And I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, I’m not exactly kicking myself at missing out on all their earlier work, but ‘Blood / Candy’ is a heady mix of soft, alternative rock songs and harmony drenched summery sounds.
The initial three tracks feature guest vocalists, the first of these being Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers fame. On first listen, I thought ‘Plastic Paperbacks’ didn’t really fit in with the rest of the album. It’s a good deal darker than the others, with a bit of a musical growl. And it’s probably not typical of the remaining eleven tracks, but one of the best none the less.
‘The Glitter Prize’ features Kay Hanley(Letters To Cleo) and ‘Licences To Hide’ has Lisa Lobsinger (Broken Social Scene) on vocals. The latter slows the tempo a shade and is a bit more dramatic in its delivery, but both are probably more along the lines of what fans of The Posies would expect.
‘So Caroline’ picks up the pace again and reminds me a little of early Teenage Fanclub with it’s light, fresh harmonies and driving acoustic guitar. ’Take Care Of Yourself’ is a rousing sing-a-long track, before ‘Cleopatra Street’ starts quietly and develops into a gentle stomp. The chorus really makes this one of the most infectious songs on the album.
‘For The Ashes’ is more of a downbeat ballad. It’s a bit more austere, but still quite captivating in its own little way. ‘Accidental Architecture’ has for me at least, a bit of a Sixties feel with a touch of The Beatles influence, ‘She’s Coming Down Again’ has a bit of an anthemic feel about it with a rousing chorus. ‘Notion 99’ has my favoured handclaps adding to the depth of the rhythm. It’s a gentle little rocker, with a slightly more ‘mean’ sound to it than the other songs.
‘Holiday Hours’ kind of drifted over me – nice melodic, background music, while the final track ‘Enewetak’ (the shortest amongst the forty-two minutes of ‘Blood / Candy’) probably sums up what The Posies are all about – gently bouncing melodic rock with lush harmonies.
(Released through RYKO on 27th September 2010)
(7.5 / 10)