By Slow Club
Sheffield folk two-piece Slow Club have gradually developed a loyal following thanks to their unusual, charming live shows. Debut record 'Yeah So?' is a chance to see how well their raucous tunes translate without their vibrant stage presence to support them.
Charles (guitar, vocals) and Rebecca (vocals, percussion, chair, bottles...see their gigs to understand) are a duet in the almost the purest sense. Both contribute vocally, with solo parts, to-and-fro verses and harmonies all present throughout the twelve tracks.
Opener 'When I Go' demonstrates what they do best lyrically, with sweet vocals they promise to be a backup plan for one another, should singlehood still haunt them later in life ("If we're both not married by twenty-two/Could I be bold and ask you?")
Some strange, but appealing lyrics crop up throughout the album, as in 'It Doesn't Have To Be Beautiful' ("It's like your head's stuck in a tightening vice/And your ears are closed to your friend's advice.") The imagination is so enjoyable as the words flow out from the speakers, that you can't help but smile knowingly to yourself.
'Giving Up On Love' is the closest reflection of what the pair do best on stage; an overdriven acoustic guitar and crashing percussion make the point in good old straightforward Yorkshire fashion. Easily the most instantly enjoyable track here.
The slower songs, following on from the more upbeat country twang, produce something of a mixed bag. Acoustic guitar-led duet 'I Was Unconcious It Was A Dream' begins as a straightforward heartwrencher, before surprisingly developing into a more enlightening power ballad of sorts.
Rebecca's impassioned solo performance on 'Sorry About The Doom' is nothing short of fantastic and is another highlight.
Producing an album of twelve tracks in a duet shows a band full of ideas, but leads the album to be a couple of tracks too bloated. 'Apples And Pears,' although cute as ever ("We are a pair of apples") doesn't sound quite as fresh so far down the tracklisting; whilst the Charles-led acoustic 'Dance 'Til The Morning Light' never quite feels like it gets going.
There are songs on the album that have to be seen on the stage, where Slow Club seem to fit, to appreciate the talents of Charles and Rebecca. But the charm still leaks through into the lyrics, leaving no doubt that you want to be in their club.