Sweeping the Nation:
Big melodic Sarah Records-like summer smash from indiepop bill mainstays with extra heroic solo trumpet voluntaries, out in limited numbers on May [30th].
How do they do it? Some bands spend millions on studios, only to get a compressed slab of audio tarmac. Devon’s A Fine Day for Sailing on the other hand, probably spend their rent on their bedrooms plus a few microphones, and come out with the most charming indie pop this side of ‘The Boy with the Arab Strap.’ The swines! For their second album in as many years, the band are going for a more summery temperature, as evidenced by the hula hula dancer and Elvis statue on the front cover. However! The secret of any decent band is to mix the bitter with the bittersweet, and these guys know it. So ‘My Little Girl’ sighs with desperation, even while it’s tanning itself on a Hawaiian beach. ‘Leaves in the Summer’ captures that mysterious melancholy that comes with the first few days of October, but sorta gives you a hug in the process. Other highlights include ‘My Bubblegum’ which feels like Blur’s ‘Beetlebum’ with sunnier highs and sadder lows, and the breezy ’50s jukebox of ‘Tell Him the Truth.’ Bag this record along with The Vaselines, and you’ve got your guitar pop soundtrack sorted for the next month. Hula hula!
What sort of group puts out two full length albums in less than a year? Well, how about a damn good one? And A Fine Day For Sailing is most definitely so. Fresh (extremely, in fact) off their last pop wonder, My Baby Loves Pop Music, the happy-go-lucky band of English excitement junkies are back with Sand Box. And to say they have improved would be to dumb down the greatness of My Baby, but Ill be damned if these cats didnt create something entirely original, using the format that worked wonderfully a few months ago.
Although the end of summer is near, Sand Box is most definitely a great summer pop album. Whether youre beach driving, or just sleeping in the sand by your local river hole, Summer Blonde is a track that will get you right in the mood to love and relax the easy days away. These jingle-jangle masters dont let the happiness get out of hand, escaping the harsh reality and blunder of actual reality of some sadness that might be forced upon us. Thus we have Leaves of Summer. But, not to fret happy children, there is plenty of chirpiness throughout this album.
A Fine Day For Sailing is a beautiful new age, yet nostalgic glance back at the Beach Boys in their undying glory. Sand Box solidifies this, not only with content, but with context. Their heavy guitar riffs over a feel-good rhythm section, as well as a tantalizing arrangement of corresponding vocals, make them an asset to indie pop that is simply too hard to refuse.
247 Magazine Review:
Exeter bands third album released on a German label, possibly due to the lack of a local audience that appreciates top-notch guitar pop. This is the album the Beach Boys would have made, if they had listened to British underground bands such as Television Personalities or Razorcuts. The set opens with Summer Blonde, which is also released as a 7 single. It should be all over the radio, on your car stereo and tattooed on your brain. But with a lack of money, PR and advertising, thats very unlikely. The bands singer and guitarist, Matthew Stead is an exceptionally passionate writer, and its evident that he also has a very hip record collection. The album is recorded by local studio genius and multi-instrumentalist, Andy Fonda, who also marks the album with his own distinct drumming skills. A Fine Day For Sailing should be playing packed shows and festivals, and we should have their names rammed down our throats. This is the sound the South West should be known for, instead of tiresome blues guitarists, soul-less metal merchants and middleclass-friendly jazz bores. File under Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles.
My Baby Loves Pop
Sometimes a song can just make perfect sense. There comes a time when a pretty indie pop song can be exactly what you need to spawn the most wonderful of memories. Dont believe it? Then check out A Fine Day For Sailing and their absolutely gorgeous album My Baby Loves Pop Music. You have to be heartless to not recollect your finest moments in life while this Exeter, UK-based group jingles and jangles through finely tuned, low-key symphonies.
Though their songs are happy-go-lucky, the content might not always be. And this is exactly the greatest key element to the star track Honeydew and Fuck You. Its a head-bobbing and good-natured track with wonderful spirit, but its also a very strong statement to any wrongdoers. They even take cues from Jimmy Stewart when they sample his famous Lasso around the moon dialogue from Its A Wonderful Life on the perfect love ditty Without You.
It must be a wonderful life, to be a member of A Fine Day For Sailing. The emergence of such a distinctively optimistic indie pop group is a wonderful find. Their positive spirit shines down heavily on every track of My Baby Loves Pop Music. This is a group that is not afraid to let the world know that it is okay to smile even when the heavens seem to be raining nothing but shit atop of the entire globe. Just think of them as the resistance to recession and natural disaster. They might just teach you to learn to enjoy your life once again.