Monday, January 17, 2011

Film School's "Hideout": Music Review

This follows the self-titled debut with less of The Cure, more My Bloody Valentine, in their less feedback-driven stage, and perhaps downbeat moments from the early-90s shoegazer-pop bands. Greg Bertens sounds not as much like Robert Smith. However, as my review of their first CD noted (in my previous entry here), he's an amazing student and I complement him on his channeling Smith and bandmates' sound into their own. It's more an homage than mimicry, somehow.

The best songs here are the loudest. "Lectric" dares to turn up the speed and the volume and moves with swagger. The closer, "What I Meant to Say," stands out for its evocation of neo-psych such as Lilys in its careful attention to layers and interplay. The rest may boast the talents of Colm Ó Ciosóig of MBV, but it's closer to the bandmember from Snow Patrol also credited.

If the latter affiliation's a plus, you'll like this CD. It tends towards mopey pop rather than full-out sonic blasts, and I miss those. Perhaps more original than the s/t record (also reviewed by me), but this San Francisco-based, but very British-styled group appears to be getting looser and lazier rather than tighter and heavier. It lacks the experimental snatches that could be found on the first record. Instead, it opts for a softer, subdued, more accessible sound. Less derivative of The Cure, and for that the band deserves points for trying. Yet, oddly, I still favor their imitations of earlier British indie bands (it makes sense they are signed to Beggars Banquet) more than most of the songs on this respectable, but too safe a record. (Posted to Amazon US 9-14-09)

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