“The Way You Were Last Night” By Belvoir
The First Song Top Knot opens with a catchy fuzz phrase that repeats over and over while the other instruments enter, then chilling out for a verse with a cool clean guitar part that seems to be doing the job of a vocal harmony; kind of like the guitar of the verse of “you got lucky” by Tom Petty. The lyrics seem to be describing a girl, who likes some guy but not that much. The chorus is nice and big and open with a lot of engaging rhythmic pushes. The bridge has some nice clean fingerpicking but kind of feels empty until the chorus guitar solo comes in. It kind of ends on the solo which was a bummer to Me; I was kind of ready to hear the chorus one more time.
The second song, “Out There”, is nice, it's got a nice alt country/ indie country feel. The Acoustic guitar and (lap steel/ slide?) part sound great together, The vocal Harmonies are all pretty tight, but I wish the vocal harmonies were a little louder, I almost didn't notice them/ after they stopped I couldn't tell if the were over or lost in the mix.
On “Make Up”, we get some Fuzz Guitar chord stuff like on “Top Knot” but this time with the slide stuff from “Out There”. Easily the strongest guitar parts on the album so far. The slide does so really good volume swells in the into and volume swells with harmonics in the verse. The chorus is big and loud but only a few bars long; it works really good following the sparse empty prechorus. The guitar solo is over a verse and make a really good use of octave bends and a lead tone that sort of nods at “Madness” by muse, or “We will rock you” by Queen.
Porcelain Dogs has a lot lower slower tempo an feel, it pretty much immediately struck me as a Brit-Pop or 70’s Bowie type song. It's a well written sounding song song; and the iv at the end of the chorus is placed really well; but it just wasn't a super engaging like the first three for me.
The title track has some great lyrical guitar Harmonies in the verses; it's worth hearing just for that. The lyrics start out with really strong imagery, but I lost the story pretty quick. The chorus sections were put together well, but between the guitar octaves and the dynamic changes always being right on new sections, it just started to feel a little dated; like a song from the mid-2000’s.
“Busy”. Back to the Rock N’ Roll. This is a great Garage jam, not totally from early Stokes. This song has the most engaging Bass parts So far on the record. Great chord changes, with cool chromatics connecting them. I like the lyrics, they all seem idiosyncratic and memorable and the Drummer switching to floor Tom in the verse at 1:00 opens things up really well so I can hear everything. The guitar solos could be a little louder, but are full of pretty great octave and third bends.
The second to last song “Blink Twice” stays with a lot of themes we've already heard but does mix them up nicely. The melody and rhythm remind me of a lot of Paul McCartney songs; Hey Bulldog! Comes to mind first. It also feels like that Song “Girlfriend” by Supertramp. The chorus again I thought felt a little dated, but it worked. Great Fuzz tones of the first Guitar Solo, nice and Brassy, the the Fuzz on the second solo was a lot tighter but worked well for its more staccato parts and helped to differentiate the two guitars when they play together. Again they ended on a solo; not that there's anything wrong with that, but I was ready to hear the chorus again right there.
The Final Song, “River Monsters” goes back to some of the low tempos from the middle of the record. But uses some very 80’s synth sounding pads (volume swells?) and cool orchestral sounding builds on the ride. It's a good song but after hearing the previous two faster more exciting songs, I just wasn't really ready to go to another slow song.
This is a good album overall, Worth the time to listen to and worth the money to buy, but a lot of it was on the slow side, and occasionally things felt predictable. My Favorite songs were “Make up” and “Busy”, with “Blink Twice” as a close third. Listen to it at: