argonaut

Argonaut ‘Try’ (Criminal)
CD/DL
Available now

Second album from London based Argonaut, the follow up to their 2012 eponymous debut; I knew nothing of Argonaut until ‘Try’ landed in the post box accompanied by a hand written PR sheet that cited the bands primary influences as Sonic Youth and Nirvana, and then suggested that the Pixies ‘Where Is My Mind’ may well be the greatest song ever…I’ll leave that debate for elsewhere, for now let’s consider ‘Try’ alongside those bold claims.

Opener ‘TV’ is a belter, saccharine sweet vocals courtesy of Lorna shimmer over a gnarly bass driven floor filler that had me thinking of the harder elements of Ladytron which is certainly no bad thing – noir tinged pop that attracts and unsettles in equally appealing measures whilst ‘MBID’ definitely leans more towards Pixies…I just can’t work out the lyric to unravel the MBID an acronym…apparently “Mark ‘somebody’ Is Dead”

‘Erase You’ is a bit of a curveball, total change in tempo, with a melancholic vibe as it washes over you, distorted synth effects bringing flashes of colour whilst the instrumental ‘Theme’ fondly recalls the analogue synth days of the likes of Drinking Electricity and their ‘Subliminal 12″ from eons back…’Yawn’ is clearly channelling their Shirley Manson fantasies, again no bad thing.

Argonaut are clearly not content with riding a particular sound and for that they should be applauded, but I just feel that they are too reliant upon their influences, ‘TV’ shows that they can absorb and not be defined by influence, it’s just a shame that the remainder of the album doesn’t follow I this vein.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

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