Sunday 20 October 2013

Review: The Wave Pictures – City Forgiveness

The Wave Pictures – City Forgiveness (Moshi Moshi)
The Wave Pictures tell micro stories of the finer, everyday or insignificant points of love and life, delivered with pain, passion, romance and exasperation. “City Forgiveness” is the twelfth LP from Loughborough’s finest and this time a double – written last year whilst on a six week American tour with Allo Darlin'.

Again, the prominent bass, the provincial witticisms and recurring themes of coffee and cigarettes remain, and are perfectly pitched against David Tattersall’s continually inventive, eclectic guitar breaks. 

The track sequencing gives the two discs a certain flavour. Disc one – aside from the galloping “Better To Have Loved”, the “Sister Ray” influenced “The Woods” and the weepy “The Yellow Roses” – is peppered with African-inspired tones, with “Whiskey Bay” tending towards Calypso and “Red Cloud Road (Part 2)” and the excellent “Before this Day” taking their leads from Afrobeat. The latter strikes a compelling contrast between music and forgetful facts drawn from childhood memories.

Disc two holds more subdued and rockier numbers. “The Ropes” has classic rock riffage, “The Inattentive Reader” borrows a musical motif from The Modern Lovers’ “Hey There Little Insect”, “New Skin” is dreamlike and “Like Smoke” – a song about death – takes on an “Albatross”, Fleetwood Mac-ishness.

The trio retain their purity of musical vision throughout, deviating only briefly from the usual guitar, bass, drums combo. The addition of squalling brass to the garage(y) “Narrow Lane” lends a free Mexicano tinge and the piano led “Atlanta” has a “Three Imaginary Boys” era Cure feel to it - as does “A Crack in the Plans”.

The acoustic dark country tune about sweet stuffs, “Golden Syrup” contains the line “Only children know my pain”, which possibly is the best quote to sum up their innocent charms.

Overall The Wave Pictures create a style that sits somewhere at the cross-section of Jonathan Richman, Television and the Violent Femmes – a very cool place to be. “City Forgiveness” and lead single, “Lisbon” are out on 21st October. 

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