October 28, 1999
Lank Haired Girl To Bearded Boy
So the bearded boy turns to the lank-haired girl...
8 / 10
So the bearded boy turns to the lank-haired girl and says, "Woe is me, for I cannot seem to get laid with this dippy-acoustic complaint-folk that I play." And the lank-haired girl says, "Well, why not take some drugs, go clubbing and listen to a bit of Primal Scream?" And lo, his polite songs are transformed into raggedly hymnal psychedelia-strums the likes of which the Regular Friescan only dream of, and Beth Orton-shaped women throw themselves at his feet.
In their own quietly subversive way, Jo Bartlett and Danny Hagan have produced another defining record for a year in which messing with the formula has been de rigueur. It doesn't herald itself with quite the explosive insolence of 'Guerrilla' or 'The Beta Band', but there's the same evident desire to refract a frazzled urban experience through waves of pastoral guitar'n'whatever else is at hand. Their ambition is most obvious on 'Love Expression' which shifts from an ululating trip-gospel groove into a warm mantra of horns and strings and bric-a-brac beats. Or there's 'Hippy Thinking' where dirty distorted guitar and indolent tambourine rhythms are laid as foundation for Jo's Dot Allison-esque tones.
After 35 all-too short minutes, you pull yourself away from the speakers with a strange and glowing sense of wonder. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship
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