erasing clouds

Pants Yell!, Alison Statton

reviewed by dave heaton

Pants Yell!’s new album Allison Statton epitomizes their style of witty and sad pop songs, but also builds it up. To me the lyrics seem somehow more ambiguous and more revealing, with struggles among people -- relationship disintegrations and other moments of decision – playing an important role while also falling into the backdrop, behind people walking alone in the city, or thinking to themselves. Meanwhile the band’s sound is filled-out like never before. There’s horns, noticeable and welcome, on at least two songs, plus more forceful drums throughout. The drums are especially strong on “A New City Life”, a new rock updating of an older track. This is the moment where the album really takes off. The two songs that immediately follow it are also more energetic, with the seeming break-up song “Shoreham Kent” neatly nicking a hook from The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry”. The title track, next after that, is an especially swinging pop song, with one of their best melodies yet. It’s followed by “The Royal We”, one of a handful of songs aided by multiple guitars, coming together in surprisingly layered ways for a usually minimalist band.

The closing song, “Two French Sisters”, has a bit of a Smiths lyric and a synthesizer opening that feels like both the Go-Betweens and Echo and the Bunnymen. There’s a line where singer Andrew Churchman’s voice cracks slightly at a key moment, as he sings, “the sun rises but it also sets / you’re not done with us yet.” The song, and the album as a whole, seems to capture the melancholy of growing up, what you lose as you become more of an adult. Meanwhile as a band they’re growing up too, but that’s no loss to anyone.


this month's issue
about erasing clouds

Copyright (c) 2008 erasing clouds