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Saturday, 17 April 2021

The Bright Spots - Broken Bat Singles


Brooklyn songwriters Matthew J Kaplan and Matt Schwartzer are two thirds of the trio, The Bright Spots with Drummer Derek Landel. They specialise in intelligent Indie Pop, an area that usually brings comparisons with the obvious such as XTC, The Housemartins, They Must Be Giants and The Sugarplastic blah blah etc etc.

However the trio may occasionally step into similar areas, particularly the wit of all four, but they are nothing like them really. They remind me a lot of Vanilla and before them, Liars Club. The band are equally at home at pace or slowed down, both reveal the quality of the songs.

There's a real quirkiness to what is on display here. Early doors, Broken Bat Singles sounds very New Wave, all unexpected chord changes and great left field lyrics about the mundane. But as the album progresses, there is a more (and I'm searching for a word but this is apt) adult feel to the collection.

Brock Umbrella is a wonderfully written moody melodic joy. Very 60's, almost Psych Pop at times. Broken Bat Single is a cracking slice of lounge. The closer, (Just Like) Wally Pipp is almost 70's Glam Rock and The International Panic comes across as mix between early Bowie and The Proclaimers.

The nigh on seven minutes of Tears, Tears, Tears - I Only Feel Love For You caught me completely surprise. Two very different songs with loads of different turns. The former starts with a Knack like riff and includes an early 60's crying chorus. The latter is pure 1979 UK New Wave.

It is that New Wave that I'm an absolute sucker for. Hang Up And Haunted, I Married A Mandolin and The Worst Of My Love all scratch that itch. But the album is far more than just that. I recommend it highly and I've learnt a new word in Swivelhead. I know a few Swivelheads.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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