The Delays
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The Delays - Faded Seaside - Album Review

The Delays
Faded Seaside Glamour

The first thing I’m reminded of when I hear Greg Gilbert’s falsetto is Justin Hawkins but ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ owes more to U2 and the Smiths with the sixties in the background than the Darkness. It’s a deceptively fragile record that’s actually quite strong despite that falsetto which could be used less as it overwhelms songs (if you can imagine that) and given that Gilbert has a good voice it’s a shame. By and large, the tunes are pretty good – uplifting and life-affirming. Just when I’m thinking ‘no more falsetto, please!’, ‘Long Time Coming’ kicks in and Gilbert actually sings normally which works much better. It’s lovely summery indie that leaves you thinking if beaches and sunny picnics.

The Delays - Faded Seaside - Album Review

Surprisingly, the mood takes a sharp turn downwards after that, instead deciding to indie shoegaze morosely on Bedroom Scene showing that they can vary their sound a bit. The band’s biography describes the band as the ‘British Byrds’ but that’s not really accurate, the album is more astute, melancholy and modern than that. ‘No Ending; is absolutely gorgeous with a jazzy touch mixed with the Doves’ first album and it builds up to a chorus only to drop away again. Happy and sad as the tune swings between the two whilst Gilbert sings of ‘the noose around our kiss’.

Tracks like ‘Long Time Coming’ and ‘You Wear the Sun’ surpriseand confound me. The tunes are so upbeat but then the lyrics are about beinginvisible to the love of your life (‘Long Time Coming’) or stayingaway from a girl because she’s too dangerous (‘You Wear the Sun’). ‘StayWhere you Are’ is another downcast song proving that The Delays are betterat sad than happy, even if it does have a feel of Chris DeBurgh about it. It’scertainly an improvement on the previous track, the most Byrds-like moment, ‘HeyGirl’ which is an average piece of pop that really doesn’t do muchfor the album. However, the award for worst rhyming on the album definitely goesto ‘There’s Water Here’ with ‘There’s water here/Tolast all year’ and overall it’s a really bad song.

If you’re after a heavy record, this definitely isn’t for you. TheDelays are a better class of indie band and they could be great if only the falsettowas used less and there weren’t so many jangly, average tunes like ‘HeyGirl’ and ‘One Night Away’. If you like any of the above mentionedbands, you’ll probably like this.

(Rough Trade)

Natasha Perry



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