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Garlands

Animals (self-released)

By • Aug 24th, 2019 • Category: Single review

You might already have heard Garlands. Vic Galloway’s a fan, as are Jim Gellatly and Tom Robinson.

It’s no small feat to get the tendrils of your music heard by gatekeepers of some of music’s coolest radio shows, so it seems the power-pop trio have something you should hear.

‘Animals’ is the band’s second EP, coming hot on the heels of 2018’s ‘Golden Sounds’. As I listened it struck me that it could be 1994, I’d be nine. I’d be standing in the middle of a pogoing crowd, spurred on by the incessant drums in opening track, ‘Protector’. The energy from the crowd would be driving the guitar licks on stage and my nine-year-old self would be throwing shapes in the pit and hoping my nine-year-old bones didn’t get crushed. Ouch. At least it would be fun.

The Posies influence is all over this record but it’s not a throwback. Gordon Harrow (guitar, vocals) has always had a way for picking out the hooks (I’ve reviewed his solo stuff over the years), and Garlands has kicked his song writing abilities up a notch or two.

‘Wolves and Foxes’ is testament to this, a stronger pop-chorus I’ve yet to hear from him. Though the band (rounded off with Darren Mackay on bass, and Stef Blair on drums) might have some tricks up their sleeve yet. The song deals in the perennial subject matter of heartbreak. A theme for millions of songs through the decades. But the difference is I want to hear Garland’s take. I guess that’s the distinction between good and bad song writing.

There’s real power in these melodies, they feel instantly hummable. ‘You Say You Know What You Don’t Want’ is punchy-hyper-distorted-chaotic-fun. By comparison title track ‘Animals’ feels positively down-beat. As if. “Sometimes” sings Gordon, “I wish we could all be animals running around”. Me too. And if this was the soundtrack, I might never stop.

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