London Camden Falcon

While [a]Oslo[/a] skulk in someone else's shadow, [a]Beulah[/a] shine, a stunning [B]'Sunday Under Glass'[/B] shaking the walls of a dank Falcon with Californian sunshine harmonies...

[a]Oslo[/a]’s tired whine-rock is fatally over-polished. With the now-compulsory falsetto-vocalist, they are hopelessly derivative, underfed and one-dimensional. If there were a third series of TV’s This Life, [a]Oslo[/a] would replace Portishead on the stereo, and a nation of sterile couch-potatoes would mistake their wailings as the poignant soundtrack to pre-millennial heartache, as opposed to the self-pitying dross it actually is.

Self-pity isn’t Union Kid‘s style. They’re more fond of mid-song watersports and guitar solos which sound like phalanxes of Stuka bombers colliding in your head. ‘Fort Disney’ and the closing ‘Sodajerk’ are giddy, ramshackle explosions. Their Dinosaur-riffing thrash might currently be unfashionable, but I’d trade you all your Radiohead knock-offs for a sliver of Union Kid‘s blistering magic.

Similarly out-of-time are Beulah, whose horn-augmented psyche-pop initially suggests kaftan-sporting Beatles-obsessives. Thankfully, Miles Kurofsky and his band leave behind the anal perfectionism of their Elephant 6 colleagues – Beulah being a deliciously orchestrated riot of raggedy energy and bubblegum classicism.

And while songs like the freewheeling ‘Score From Augusta’ might not be particularly groundbreaking, Beulah deliver their skewed, college-rock with a winning confidence and charisma. While [a]Oslo[/a] skulk in someone else’s shadow, Beulah shine, a stunning ‘Sunday Under Glass’ shaking the walls of a dank Falcon with Californian sunshine harmonies. Long shots maybe, Beulah are contenders, a crossover lying in wait to pluck a thousand heartstrings.

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