Jul 03, 2009

Hot off the heels of their 7”s, this English trio slows it down a notch. At first, it threw me. It feels more “tea” than “coffee.” Some of the songs are longer and more languid. I listened to the record a couple times, then put it aside, not quite sure what to think, but willing to give them another chance. What a difference a couple of weeks made. Just as seeds planted at the right time sprout almost instantly, the songs quickly budded and revealed their easy, softer beauty on these return visits to the vinyl. The doves are in the details. Gordon Gano’s Army’s music resonates with a wide-eye wonder (while the lyrics motor through darker tunnels), incorporating a Superchunkian sense of melody. They exercise the patience for a song to breathe and climax. What they gave up in straight-ahead, rough-and-tumble early-Jam raucousness they more than make up with the comfort that you’re in the hands of crackerjack songwriting. My working knowledge of current Britpop is nonexistent, but if the following terms aren’t mutually exclusive, GGA’s a non-twee, non-precious, unstyled DIY band playing pretty songs with a thick-knit British accent. Maybe a closer-fitting moniker would be “office worker punk,” lyrically parked in the lot next to Canada’s Statues, waiting until the exact last minute before the workday starts to get out of the car, smacking the steering wheel, singing along to songs as a form of therapy.

 –todd (Art Of The Underground)