Sunday, March 25, 2007

Help She Can't Swim...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water along comes the return of Brighton-based Help She Can't Swim (HSCS) with 'Hospital Drama', the first single to be taken from their forthcoming second album The Death of Nightlife.
Released like the first, Fashionista Super Dance Troupe (2004) of which there were just 200 vinyl copies, by label 'Fantastic Plastic' it means a further feast of limited vinyl! Since the first album, and several 7" singles c/w non-album tracks, they have released two vinyl-only EPs:

  • Committing Social Suicide (2005)
  • Secret Garden (2006)
There are two 7" versions of 'Hospital Drama' available:

A picture disc c/w 'Wake Up' and a black 7" (and also CD) c/w 'Wretched'.

A five-piece for their first LP outing, their second LP sees them return as a four-piece and with their sound still evolving naturally. The current line up is:

Tom Denney - voice, guitar, keys
Leesey Frances - voice, keys
Tim Palmer - bass, keys
Lewis Baker - drums

The album Fashionista Super Dance Troupe is mostly fast, furious and often quite angry. It is where indie-pop with clever lyrics meets shouty-punk; that would be a conveniently lazy way to describe it.
In slightly less than 25 minutes Fashionista Super Dance Troupe romps its wilful way through eleven quite varied tracks, often with biting lyrics. Only the last one exceeds three minutes and that is 'Apples', which hints at something rather different. This nascent diversity becomes ever more obvious on the EPs mentioned above and it is certainly not something of which to be ashamed for a band that has never really fitted comfortably in any particular genre.

The latest single 'Hospital Drama' is still recognisably the HSCS of old, only better. The really surprising track of these three is 'Wretched' - a song that puts many similar attempts at the territory, including many by far better known artists, to shame by its sheer simplicity.

No comments: