The second album from Leeds-based indie kidsScamsis a collection of non-offensive alternative tunes abundant in angular guitar stabs, sullen basslines, and surprisingly pleasant three-part harmony canons.If you've listened to an album filed under indie/alternative anytime in the past ten years 'Add & Subtract' will offer you nothing you haven't heard before, but if you like the genre, you'll like this album.
Opener 'Be A Gentlemen' has a brilliantly dirty guitar riff facing off with a single note harmony part that was clearly educated at the Interpol School of Guitar Harmony Parts. Enter the rhythm section and a moody bassline that grooves its way all over the backbeat. It's an angsty but catchy verse and had this song delivered a killer chorus it would've been one of the best songs of the year, but sadly the chorus we have is an underwhelming let down of seemingly random "Oh-Oh-Oh's."
Track two, 'Colouring,' is a rather messy post-punk song that if you played loud in the house your girlfriend/wife/mother would ask you to turn down because she has a headache. As the album progresses there is no groundbreaking musical style to uncover. Recent single 'Pyramids' is an ode to early Bloc Party, whilst 'Lucky Day' has a certain Arctic chill about it, and track five, 'Lifeboats,' might just get Vampire Weekend on the phone to their lawyer. However, there are some great melodic hooks to be found, in particular on the ballad 'It's War.' A simple yet beautiful descending piano line waterfalls through the song, leading us in and out of the best chorus on the record.
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