We suspect this review is aimed only at non-Fannies (as the band is known). The true fans will have bought this, probably after studying the band members’ DNA for flaws and cross-referencing with what singer Norman Blake had for tea on Wednesdays in 2003.
Looking at reviews of this and their live gigs, we saw phrases such as “powerpop mothership”, (they) “deserve their place within the alternative rock pantheon”, comparisons with Nirvana and Pixies and use of the word “zeitgeist”. Fans regard them as seminally important.
So speaking to non-fans, we’d suggest you don’t listen to the openers (I’m In Love, Thin Air, Hold On), which come over as too slick at first play but go straight to track five, I Have Nothing More To Give, the track where the album slows down and — at least to the novice — you can better appreciate what the band is doing: this is creating 60s tinged, wistful pop that features jangly guitar, albeit slightly warped in places. I Have Nothing is a lovely song, as is Steady State. After you’ve heard those, go back to the openers, which are lively, polished pop tunes but need the listener’s awareness of the later wistfulness to appreciate. After the opening pop salvo, the album slows down, with only Live In The Moment (sublime guitar) giving the latter half a kick.
Blake, plus original members Raymond McGinley and bassist Gerard Love are all older now so we guess the sound is slicker than in the past, but they can still turn in a quality tune. Very enjoyable.
- Note to fans: I’ve since bought Songs from Northern Britain. Good, innit?