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Friday, 1 June 2012

Record Review - The Dreaming Spires

Brothers In Brooklyn

"Listening to The Byrds and Teenage Fanclub" sing The Dreaming Spires' Joe and Robin Bennett against a backdrop of ringing 12-strings, muted lap steel and clattering drums. "Singing 'Sin City' in sweet, ragged harmony". If opener 'Singing Sin City' doesn't set out these guys' manifesto then last year’s debut single 'Everything All The Time' should clarify matters with its nods to Radio City-era Big Star and Wilco’s medicated pop thrills . Still not convinced? Then try 'Not Every Song From The Sixties Is A Classic', a breathlessly ecstatic paean to leaving home that quotes from ‘California Dreamin’’ before proclaiming, “for every hit, there must be some shit”. You're not wrong there, brother.

This isn’t to say that Brothers In Brooklyn, the Oxford (that’s Oxford, Oxon, not Oxford, NJ) band’s first long-player, is all warm, knowing nods to rock’s golden age played out by plaid-shirted fanboys with California fixations – ‘Strength Of Strings’ swims in the kind of ambient Americana patented by Mercury Rev and ‘Woman That You Are’ is pure Ben Folds balladry – but if you’re partial to that lineage of American guitar music that touches on The Byrds, Neil Young, Tom Petty and The Jayhawks, this may well be your album of the year.

Andy Morten

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