Listening to this resembles a wine tasting: a bouquet of Echo and the Bunnymen, the aroma of Joe Jackson, a hint of The Beatles and a sniff of The Coral. Red Rum put their twist on all this by adding mariachi trumpet, which lifts even the less interesting tracks up a notch.
The band is presumably named after the horse, and opener (says every critic, probably) opens at a gallop, Angeline boasting a throbbing bass / rhythm section and an uplifting chorus, with the trumpeter giving his all. The trumpet is to the fore in all songs, but we don’t hear this as Tex Mex as many claim, even though one song is called Calexico, named for one of the Review Corner’s favourite bands. Red Rum are from Liverpool and the city is too gritty and has too much music in its veins for them to escape the heritage; the clearly Liverpudlian singer doesn’t overly suggest Texas, either.
Angeline is good, as is the more melodic Would You Rather Be Lonely?, but after that the stronger tracks are interspersed with some less interesting ones: Honey follows the weaker Television Said So, while Nobody Gets Out Alive is not bad but Calexico, which follows, is a big, bouncy tune.
To be frank, it’s a decent middle-ranking indie album. They’re probably very good live — there’s a lot of energy — so learning the words and singing them live is probably very satisfying; the trumpet lifts it all, but it’s nothing new.
Lyrically, standard stuff: Calexico includes “I need to let you know / That there’s a girl I know / When she’s all alone / She calls her Romeo.”
Honey’s best line is a little better: “A pair of hearts too cold to beat, a rocky start so bittersweet”.
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