Over the past year or so Monty Maggot have steadily been releasing high-quality albums including a marvellous [post=allies-and-clansmen text=”free album”] that could be seen as a taster for future releases. Its certainly a label that deserves support for the diversity of artists they are looking to put out. So what is there to expect from the album by Nineteentwelve? A lot of cracking tunes, that’s what!
“Nothing Again” is steady rock opener in very much a 70s vein with very catchy chorus and a slice of Mini Moog-sounding bit of lead that spirals away over solid guitars and Hammond Organ. A good opener, and a taste of what’s to come. Acoustic guitars give a big landscape feel to “Maybe I Lied” that wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack to some American Indie movie. Tuneful fretboard work and crystal clear vocals give the song an expansive sound. The slower opening to “Something I” push on the same emotional lushness as something from And Then There Were Three….-era Genesis. Here again, Gary Sheridan’s vocals come across with passion and the lead synth break would not be out of place on a Rick Wakeman album.“Given The Time” has strummed acoustics over a good solid backbeat by Dave Sutheran and John Pierpoint. Again the emotional angst is to the fore with the lyrics and a sense of melancholy prevails like rain on an autumn day. “Life On Film” starts with synth pads and lead guitar that are reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond;” this soon crumbles into a wonderful lead Hammond line that shakes the track up in true prog rock style – actually Gary’s vocal here reminded me of Greg Lake in some ways. The middle section quietens things down and becomes more reflective with piano and guitar playing well off each other before the track returns to a steadier beat and its finale.
Staccato guitar introduces “Partial View” while vocals take off with the sound of a dreamy sadness. The chorus carries the same feel of shadowy darkness as the organ begins to pick up pace. “Give Me Heart” starts with a light hearted Wakemanesque keyboard run by Alex Theay before the tune hits in proper, its verses sounding not unlike later XTC songs in its ethereal English summer afternoon vibe. String sounds and piano herald “Please Take Me Away From Here,” a medium-paced rocker which leans back on its steady rhythm as the vocals call out in sadness; the song builds momentum but sonically seems to remind me of (yet again) Genesis in their Wind and Wuthering era. The song has a very peculiar British sound of loneliness that seems seeped within its lilting piano chords.Final track for the album is “Siren Song,” its layered vocal over acoustic guitars giving it a similar sound to Fleet Foxes at points and has a similar autumn quality that their first album had. The album as a whole has the sad dark eyes of winter approaching and evenings encroaching in. Its melodies shine through the cavern of the introspective side of the human psyche and hold you in a winter’s evening embrace.
Its late November; you need this album.