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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Record Review – The November Five

If You Are Satisfied You Are Dead
Montauk Industries CD/DL

This London-based combo have been getting some good press and a fair amount of airplay over the last year or so are. Like many new UK groups that are striving to be seen and heard, The November Five look also to past rock ’n' roll noisemakers for a lot of their inspiration. This is evident on this, their debut long-play offering where their sonic palette takes in a whole assortment of influences. However, I can't say I'm overly enamoured with the resultant noise they make. Vocally, it's the same ghosts that the majority of yesteryear's indie-types professed allegiance to that are heavily in evidence. So the likes of Lou Reed-style tones and that particular ilk are quite prevalent here and certainly inform the more reflective pieces. 

With such as 'Picking Up The Pieces' (with its lyrical "echo" references) and 'Breathe', what really springs to mind more than anything else is, rather conveniently, the style of Echo & The Bunnyman's Ian McCullough. The guitars seem to be all well-effected by heavy use of reverb etc on most of the selections, but, unfortunately, I don't really hear anything here that's wild, great or special, or that makes me think this is anything to get one's self hopped-up about. I was also a bit disappointed to learn that there isn't much in evidence here that suggests that any kind of garage, psych or ’60s rock-style records have infiltrated their thinking or playing style any, which is a shame as that is what I thought I was going to be hearing, but of course that's my, and not their fault. However, for what it's worth, the overall sound and feel of the drums and bass are, for this writer anyway, just quite lifeless and rhythmically plodding really, rendering their efforts dull and ordinary. Mostly everything here has that horrible modern samey sounding flat-ness to it.

Whatever it is, I can categorically say that this is not for any of the fuzz-loving, or discerning garage / psych nuts out there.

Lenny Helsing

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