Luxembourg Signal at Collective Zine

This one came into the review pile a couple of times so I thought I might as well review it. Apparently the album has been a bit delayed so we have a bit more time to review it…which is good as we do like to take our time on occasions while we are busy doing important stuff like watching TV, working, watching/talking about football, re-homing red-back spiders that appear on the BBQ, sitting around doing nothing and other such exciting pastimes. As revealed by Captain Fidanza last week, we only get £200 per review and that’s not always enough to tempt us into action. Last week I found a CD that I was sent in January 2013. It must have got misplaced in the shipping crates when I emigrated to Australia. By my reckoning I am now 21 months late with that one but I am determined to review it at some point. Maybe. I might do anyway – if you see a review of mine of a compilation featuring various UK indie bands you will know I have achieved my goal. Anyway, the mention of shoegaze in the blurb that came with this release also tempted me. Not only that, but this band features members with history dating back to the 90s in ex-Sarah Records band Aberdeen as well as Trembling Blue Stars who some people who read this site might be familiar with. The blurb also mentioned The Popguns – anyone remember them? One of my very first ever gigs was The Popguns playing at ULU with The Frank and Walters and The Cardiacs. There’s a useless fact for you. The opener “Dying Star” is a slow-burning hypnotic track and sets the stall out nicely for the listen ahead. There is a poppy side to the sound but there is enough distortion on the guitars to give this a shoegaze side too. It takes me back instantly to my teenage years, when Slough Festival threw together a bunch of shoegaze indie bands for a one-day festival, and, to days when the music press was talking about those bands as being part of The Scene That Celebrates Itself. Good to remember how daft they liked to get when talking about music and lumping stuff in together. Someone somewhere decided that The Mock Turtles fitted in nicely with bands like Ride, Lush and Slowdive – “Can you dig it?” This scene creation is not something the press has taken up recently with their Emo Revival gibberish – they’ve always done it. I’d been listening to what they called T-shirt bands around that time too – bands like Carter USM and Mega City Four who made great t-shirts and when you went to a gig everybody was wearing a t-shirt of one a number of bands from that so-called scene. I think that was the explanation for that one anyway. You could add Senseless Things, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Pop Will Eat Itself amongst others to that set. I’m going off at a tangent here. Let’s not forget Thousand Yard Stare either though. Also, it did make it easy to identify others into the same type of music and I made a lot of friends from other schools who would get the same train up to London as my friends and I as they were all wearing Mega City Four or Ned’s Atomic Dustbin t-shirts. If we hadn’t been wearing those band t-shirts some of those kids probably would’ve started on us or stolen our cans of Tennent’s Super or something but as it was we became friends.

Anyway, back to this band. Whilst shoegaze is an influence here there is a clean sound too which adds to the dream/indie pop sound going on here. The next track starts more upbeat, with jangly guitars and the vocals at the start in particular remind me of the female vocals in Belle & Sebastian – kind of light and airy. Nice song. The female vocals lead the majority of the tracks but there is a guy singing too and it’s a nice contrast. There is an early highlight too in “She Loves To Feel The Sun” which is gorgeous, tinged with sadness and pretty much everything I want from an indie pop song. One of the tracks on here features Dale Crover of The Melvins on drums by the way. It’s also worth noting that the members of this band are based in London and Los Angeles and I can only admire the fact that they can make this work from such a distance. I’ve enjoyed this – it’s taken me back a few years and off on some tangents. Thank you.