The Felt Tips – Living and growing
The Felt Tips – Garden of Roses
The skinny: A dreamy band with a wistful voice.
The review proper: Slightly happy-go-lucky pop with a melancholic voice. That’s The Felt Tips in a nutshell. ‘A life more ordinary’ starts Living and growing, with a brisky paced Americana rhythm that strangely goes will the Scottish lilt of lead singer, Andrew.This little Americana style is later revisited in ‘Engaged for a visa’, the stronger of the two songs with this style.
But what style is the rest of the album on? Damned if I know. The rhythm section (Neil, bass; Kevin H. Carroll, drums) always keep Andrew and Miguel (lead guitar) on their toes. There’s nary a slow moment in Living and growing, even if the lyrics sometimes are a little on the longing & sad range of the audio spectrum. When you have a song called ‘Dear Morrissey’, you know there is a riptide of sadness waiting to drag you down. You’ll probably hit the ground with the intro for ‘lifeskills’, a bit of a downer (in mood, not in execution).
‘Garden of roses’ feels like something from a long gone era, but still, feels fresh. Probably the one song from the album that I enjoyed best (is that an ebow in front of me? sweet!), with its quick pace and simple, effective musical work. Miguel’s guitar work is pretty sweet too, there’s a couple of nice little riffs here and there that add a little extra to the songs, all based on Kevin’s swift strumming.
Maybe the music will not grab you straight ahead (I saw them live before listening to the album, so had a small inkling of what to expect), but the lyrics seem to be the main forte of The Felt Tips, and, hopefully, this lyrical work will invite you to stay and listen to their sweet music.
It might not fly with you if you like your music a little more punchier, but if you enjoy indie ditties, check it. There’s quite funny stuff here (‘Not tonight’ sounds like a familiar story). And then again, you might need some sweet, happy chords for a lyric like “Where as I have a secret crush / yours is a double bluff”. That is all.
About the author: Some say that Kevin H. Carroll (drums) has a collection of NHS approved specs. Wear contacts if you see them live. Seriously. He’ll chase you ’til the end of The Curry Mile if you don’t handover your nerdy specs. fml.