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Review: 'A Certain Smile'
'Fits & Starts'   

-  Label: 'Bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Indie'

Our Rating:
This album arrived recently from Portland with no press release and no clues as to who sent it to me apart from the fact it's the second album I've reviewed this year that finishes with a song called Mexican Coke so it must have been sent to me through Mike at HHBTM and yes he's name-checked on the bandcamp page alongside Chris at Jigsaw so I know it must be jangle pop.

But who has the best Mexican Coke Eureka California or A Certain Smile? Well I have to say I prefer the in your face urgency of Eureka California's much more grungey sound than the Pale Fountains go all postcard shoegaze of A Certain Smile's song and yes they are totally different songs on the same subject that both bring cool albums to an end and in A Certain Smiles case quite dolefully as she loses him to that damn Mexican coke again!

So if we now go back to the beginning and look at that very Jigsaw Records style Jigsaw puzzle on the cover and start staring off into the distance as Hold On, Call starts to wrap itself around your brain with nice chiming jangly guitars with plenty of echo and reverb that's perfect for this guy to moan on about all you doing is call up and moan.

Summer Blonde is hazy guitars shimmering in your ears like a mellower Luxembourg Signal teetering on the edges of never in a Curve like way very shimmerpop but with a snatched conversation sounds in the background that I had to pause the album to make sure weren't coming from the garden very subtle.

Morning Sun feels like you're walking home from an all-nighter somewhere possible coming down and dreaming of what's still to come as they start to sing that they won't come down for anyone and they are ready to large it all day long this is going to be a proper trip and the guitars are going to help you get there.

Hushed is the result of that bender you want hush and quiet and the banging in your head to stop an no not more jangly guitars and what's with the strings am I ready to crash, I suppose maybe, but this is a nice lazy drawl of a comedown song of love and lust.

Smile like your stretched out on a really soft sofa laid back eyes popping totally mellow and in need of sounds to drip around you like falling colours as you dream of the most beautiful smile you've seen and the owner of that grin totally blissed out.

Aberdeen is yet another song about that fabled town this time they have it covered in jangle and they aren't bitter blues men complaining about how the women treat them wrong. Leisure Class ups the tempo like they are coming back up again and need to go for a good Zumba class only you could never do Zumba to this tune as it's far to Gauzey for that.

We Want The World isn't exactly a manifesto but is covered in jangly urgent guitars with a bit Of a Pastels vibe to it and let's face it at this moment in time I'd prefer these guys vision for the world where jangle pop is all that matters rather than the world we actually have, it's all breathy and cool and would have gone down a storm at Club Silver at the start of the 90's.

The album then finishes as all good albums seem to currently with a song called Mexican Coke which is something I'll never try as I haven't drunk coke since 1985 and I never want to go through those withdrawal symptoms again and no amount of shoegazing shimmer pop will make me drink that stuff again let alone any Mexican variant we don't get in the UK.

Find out more at www.acertainsmile.net www.acertainsmile.bandcamp.com
  author: simonovitch

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