Review of Rhinemaidens Single by The Envy Corps

The Envy Corps
Single Review

The Envy Corps Rhinemaidens Single

Younger readers might find this difficult to credit, but there was a time when Primal Scream wore Paisley shirts, had pudding-bowl haircuts, and peddled jangly, psychedelia-lite pop songs. It was about the same time that 'indie' was a method of record distribution rather than a one-size-fits-nobody genre with about as much meaning as the phrase 'ethical foreign policy'. Serious-minded young men in cardigans and spectacles would play delicate guitar-driven pop songs to appreciative young crowds in anoraks, and people actually liked Gustav Klimt and read Penguin Classics through choice. It seems a long time ago now.

So why am I telling you this? Well, because The Envy Corps see to have located a wormhole to that time, and have raided it to produce a slice of top pop tuneage that would have fitted right in. Attractively packaged to look like a Penguin Classic (complete with beautifully letter-spaced Gill Sans), it's a simple, uncomplicated little thing with a chattery guitar that hates disco and a keyboard that in this day and age sounds hopelessly gauche and naive, yet nevertheless manages to charm. A second guitar helps to pick out the harmonies in the first via the gift of the arpeggio. A third guitar sits in the background playing distorted power chords, just fleshing things out, while the vocal harmonies carry the pretty melody along. When the first guitar stops ticking, a tambourine takes over, maintaining momentum but creating space for some descending and deceptively clever chords. It takes a few listens to figure out that this is actually the chorus.

So, nothing groundbreaking - just raiding an archive that appears to have been overlooked. Call it nostalgia, call it an occasional weakness for shimmery, summery pop music, but this one's going on the MP3 player rather than in the shoebox under the bed.Lovely.

Jon Watson

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