The Press Release that accompanies this single opens thus:
‘Six-piece Indie band VAN SUSANS kick off the year with their brand new single, ‘Bricks Not Sticks Or Straw……’
That was as much as I read before letting the music speak for itself. And here’s what it told me:
Pigeon-holed as ‘Indie’ they may be, but these two tracks came across as being more of a popular Country Rock ilk. Maybe this is the wrong thing to say (or even admit to) but both ‘Bricks Not Sticks Or Straw,’ and ‘Disappear’ sound like the type of songs performed by the ‘guest’ bands that appear on American Idol. You know, the kind of ‘Country’ influenced band that you’ve never even heard of here in U.K. but after a few minutes you have to grudgingly acknowledge as being pretty damn good!
And this is where I see VAN SUSANS on the evidence of these two tracks. The vocals are clear, confident and concise with a gentle rasp and the overall impression is one of silky professionalism. The piano plays an integral part in both songs which are catchy and most enjoyable whist playing, but unfortunately don’t really stick around much in my memory at least.
Reading further through the Press Release, I notice that whilst Producer Oli Som is from the U.K., he learnt his trade during a stint at a Nashville studio before returning home to work with a few emerging Indie bands like VAN SUSANS. So maybe my initial impression was not too far wide of the mark?
It’s kind of hard to assess this single – if you’re expecting ‘Indie’ the likes of The Maccabees or Saturday’s Kids (just two bands that sprung to mind) then you’ll perhaps be disappointed. But if you’re more open to a wider and perhaps tenuous interpretation of the genre, then you’ll find it hard to pick fault.
I just think it may be more tailored for the American market.
(Released through Beatnik Geek Records on 26th March 2012)
(8 / 10)