Currently spell-checking my recently retrieved (and thought lost) Myspace blogs. This is the first entry - an online review of an 8 -track CD I put out there at the time from the (now defunct) Student Guru website, based in Leeds (which becomes apparent..). It’s nice i.e. glowing and compares us to Dylan, Beatles etc. Whatever
2/8/2006 7:10:00 AM
2/8/2006 7:07:00 AM
A six track EP by Nigel Parrington of The High Ones fame sees him taking a trip through The Low Countries (his home is in Belgium now) on this release.
Opening track ‘Drown’ gives the indication of a strong blues/country feel to the band. This song has a real laid back and lazy feel to it, with a languid sounding slide guitar that adds to the overall effect of the song. I suppose the best way I could describe the style of this song is Bob Dylan circa ‘Bringing It All Back Home, or for a more recent reference, Gomez.
It’s a refreshing change to hear a song like ‘Drown’ and gives the band something to help them stand out from the crowd.
Although the rest of the EP takes a slight change of direction in that the country and blues influences are toned down a bit, the remaining tracks are nevertheless just as strong as the opener. For a good local indication of The Low Countries sound, check out bands such as Steer and Last Night’s TV.
One thing I really like about this band is that they actually write some damn fine love songs, and that’s a real rarity in this day and age. How often do we hear an indie band writing a good old fashioned love song, or a pop act singing anything but twee and corny sentiments? Both ‘Putty’ and ‘Hole In My Heart’ show that this band can pen a good heart-felt lyric in the classic love song tradition. My particular favourite, and stand out track on this EP, is ‘Putty’. The lyrics are simple, to the point, and effective. ¦ “I’m putty in your hands”..what more can you add to that? Coupled with a delicate backing, it works wonderfully.
'A Journey' shows a nice, dare I say, jovial, side to the band. This is a great camp fire type of song with carefree lyrics and country tinged guitar. It reminds me of 'The Two Of Us' from The Beatles' Let It Be. Final track, 'Low Country' is the bands song of drinking and regret. It brings a nice twist to the traditional love song, as a song of drunken reasoning, ‘We’re two wrongs trying to make a right’. Like the ever popular with drunks, 'Show Me The Way To Go Home', it stays just the right side of maudlin, and as with the rest of this EP, it shows that The Low Countries can beautifully capture the right sentiment for any emotion that they wish to portray.
There are so many local bands that deserve the bigger audience, and like so many others, I’m not sure that the current national interest in Leeds indie scene will benefit The Low Countries, as they have more depth than the NME are currently looking for. That said, once the interest has moved onto another city, the quality bands like The Low Countries, Steer, Last Night’s TV, Silverlode, etc will still be here, and I’m sure that they’ll get their chance to shine. Tough it out, hang on in there, and big things await you!