Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Standard Fare - The Noyelle Beat (Melodic/Thee SPC)

I think I can say without any risk of contradiction that despite it being 2009 and that album not being out until next March, that it's the best record of 2010. Recorded in just six days, 'The Noyelle Beat' bristles with the sort of excitement, sex, longing, ennui, desperation and joy that reminds me of, say, 'Hatful of Hollow'. And I'm not even making that up, because that's how good this album is.

Opening the album with 'Love Just Doesn't Stop' might be considered chucking away one of your strongest songs dangerously early, but when you can follow it up with 'Nuit Avec Une Amie' (or a 'A Night With a Friend' as we've become to know it), then it hardly matters.

You might be forgiven for thinking a lull is the order of the day, but you'd be wrong, because up next is 'Philadelphia' - the track that set Standard Fare's early demo apart, and piqued my interest to such an extent that I immediately sent out a gushing email to Darren at Thee SPC demanding Standard Fare come and play in Nottingham.

'Philadelphia' is like Mungo Jerry's 'Summertime' played by three people on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Listening to it on record makes me turn into a big mess of jelly; hearing it live leaves me in a puddle on the floor. It's a big and swaggering, and then it's fragile and coy. It floors me every time.

The best thing about Standard Fare is that even their more sedate songs are edgy and wired. Take 'Wrong Kind of Trouble' - a song about hopping into bed with the wrong person. A similar theme runs into 'Fifteen'. Well, I blame the make-up boys wear these days.

If you want to get back to something a little more pure, then 'Secret Little Sweetheart', which Danny sings with such innocence that you wish you could reach the speakers and hold his hand. And then 'Married' sees Emma coming on like Nico on uppers. It's all ridiculously beautiful.

Am I gushing enough? Good, because it's not over yet.

'Dancing' begins with that haunting skeleton of a guitar line, before Emma's voice - THAT VOICE - cuts through you like cheese wire before filling you with such glorious defiance that you want to press 'repeat' on this song over and over again, for another hit.

'Wow' ends on a triumphant, almost epic note, with Emma howling, "This could really lead somewhere/This could really go somewhere." Apt really, because 'The Noyelle Beat' draws me in like no other record for ages, and I say that after an amazing couple of years of records. Yet this one drips with so much character and emotion and humour that it manages to transcend everything else. 'The Noyelle Beat' is a quite stunning record by a remarkable band, and come next March thousands more people will know that.

Download 'Nuit Avec Une Amie' here.


Colin said...

I'm jealous you've heard it already~! yow! lucky you!
soulds like it'll be worth the wait!

A layer of chips said...

You just wait!

Daniel (So Tough! So Cute!) said...

This is absolutely amazing. The record can't come soon enough!

shaun brilldream said...

you really are a jammy sod getting this LP so soon. but i'd wager its worth the wait.