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Review: 'Tullycraft'
'The Royal Prince Hotel'   

-  Label: 'Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '8.2.19.'-  Catalogue No: 'HHBTM196'

Our Rating:
This is Tullycraft's seventh album in the 24 years they have been slowly building a following for and I must admit they hadn't crossed my radar before The Railway Prince Hotel showed up for review. I know the press blurb claims they are very influential on the US Twee pop scene and I have no reason to doubt it having heard this quite wonderful album of very knowing and cool music, with some of the best song titles anywhere, had I picked up the album in a record shop and seen them it would certainly have made me want to hear what they sound like.

The A-side of the Vinyl version opens with Midi Midinette and of course a Midinette is a Parisian seamstress although I'm not sure this brass led Jangle pop vignette is about French seamstresses but more about a cruel lover.

Passing Observations manages to reference one of the bands it reminds me of in Kenickie while also being a bit like a less abrasive Wedding Present with some cool lyrics that could just be jottings from the band's notebooks.

We Couldn't Dance To Billy Joel is not only a great song title but also a damn cool song about fleeing the dance floor to become wallflowers the moment Billy start trying to build fires again, Oh how I would be with them on that and it is a very clever and knowing song.

Goldie And The Gingerbreads is a tribute to the 60's girl band who got shafted by the bizz but gave the world Genya Raven and in this song makes them sound like a soda pop band even if this sounds like a twee pop Vaselines crossed with Wimpy Milkshake and early 80's Modern Lovers while giving Jim Steinman a credit for some of the music they may have borrowed from him.

Has Your Boyfriend Lost His Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight? Is not only a brilliant title but a great vignette about another doomed love affair over a twee yet beautifully detailed backing as the car crash relationship loses its flavor.

The A-side closes with Beginners At Best is a tale of a brief fling of a road worn musician that unfolds like a kitchen sink drama played in a way that reminds me of Two Nice Girls in places.

The B-side opens at a frantic pace on It's Not Explained, It's Delaware as things that happen in Delaware stay in Delaware know what I mean. It sounds like they are on a speed and molly binge to go with the punk and lemonade they sing about on this song and it will take a few listens to get the whole story of Delaware.

Lost Our Friends To Heavy Metal is the song I most loved on the album as I identify with both sides of the equation having some Heavy metal tendencies but not getting other parts of that music. Just finding out someone you know is into Behemoth and Cannibal Corse is obviously bad but is it worse than finding out they like Poison and Motley Crue such vagaries are where this song is at and I agree with the blurb stating it's far too short it should have been at least 5 minutes long in case the friends like Dream Theatre or really widdly metal.

Hearts At the Sound is jangle pop tale of sex and bar hopping while having fun in a typical American town and as such would work really well being played before or after Joe Normal's recent single Anytown while Tullycraft put their hearts into getting that sound right.

The Cat's Miaow In A Spacesuit is another great song title and could be a description of a cool outfit before you go clubbing. It's a wonderful twee pop melodrama that has some almost Augustus Pablo goes twee Organ and Melodica parts that I love it is a real stand out moment for me.

The Railway Prince Hotel is another scene from the band's tour diary set to urgent jangle pop as the story of yet another brief encounter unfolds in its inevitably messy way.

The album closes with Vacaville that opens like a Joan Jett song gone a bit twee as they have a chat with someone about the music they love and it sounds almost like Beat poetry style stream of Consciousness style piece as they work in a bit of Joy Division to the music as the piece unfolds and makes me happy the LP comes with a lyric sheet so I can get all the references in this very smart and slightly snarky song.

This album is well worth getting a copy of find out more at www.hhbtm.com https://tullycraft.com/

  author: simonovitch

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