Courgettes... Squash the competition!
Review: The Pure Conjecture – Courgettes
Published on June 28th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Whoever Matt Eaton is, he’s assembled quite the little super-group. Check this copy/pasted line-up out:
Martin Noble (British Sea Power), Thomas and Alex White (Electric Soft Parade / Brakes), Andrew Mitchell (The Hazey Janes), Johny Lamb (Thirty Pounds Of Bone), Marc Beatty (Brakes / The Tenderfoot), Darren Moon (The Tenderfoot), Steve Grainger (nada / Elevator Suite) and Julian Baker (Notable Saxophonist)
Have they between them assembled an album to match? As sure as self-questioning journalistic constructions are tired and hackneyed, you can bet they have.
Intriguingly titled opener “The Power of the Notes is Very Good” is a lovely Elbow-meets-Roddy-Woomble sort of thing with gorgeous piano, sharp chord changes, intermittent percussive pop!s and Eaton’s deliciously smooth baritone, which sounds like it’s following the titular refrain with the sage and colloquial advice of “Mind yer heid”.
“The Throat”, meanwhile, places saxophone and fuzzy lead guitar over a laid-back soul march – “I’ve got a note from the doctor and an anger in the throat” intones in the chorus, but the vibe remains sweet and sunny – fitted with ace woo ooh OOH!s in the second verse that could be straight out of an ELO song, and even a strange sort of psych-ska breakdown.
“All the Cherries Are Gone” conceals its rueful lyrics in chugging, good-time, Big Star/Fountains of Wayne pop with suitably breezily harmonies – it’s so lovable in fact that it’s easy to forgive it the key change it proceeds to execute – while “1st Time I Saw You” and “The Tumbler That Never Ran” take things in a more soulful and loungey direction, the latter almost Lambchop-ily so.
“Knock Three Times” is another classic soul treat with a splendorous middle eight instrumental section, “This Car of Mine” a Spirit of Eden-esque slow-burner that builds into gospel-y crescendo, and “What’s Your Sign, Girl?” (“…is it compatible to mine?”) leads us out on a gently beautiful note that manages to override the wryness in Easton’s words.
“We’ll be making babies together, forever” he says on this fitting closer. Here’s hoping the ‘we’ represents Eaton and his talented bandmates, and ‘babies’ represents albums. An excellent start.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!