By Laura Catlow
The press release and the reviews of her previous release keep mentioning Laura Catlow's northern accent, so I won't. Instead, I will sing the praises of anyone whose voice is relaxed enough to be expressive and strong without losing their natural feel, a category Laura definitely falls into.
Each of these songs are about Laura's words and voice, so it is unsurprising her accent has been mentioned in everything I have read. The backing guitar and bass provide simple bouncy riffs to carry her songs, without detracting from the words. This brings up the next comparison that appears both on Laura's MySpace and each review: the Arctic Monkeys. This is not just because she is Northern. The lyrical rhythms are often in an identical style, but she is certainly not ripping them off. The unassuming nature of her words, which paint the pictures of her life experience, along with the punk based rhythm, makes the comparison impossible to avoid. Nice pitched hooks, with "Woo hoo" completing the Monkey sound.
The sense of humour which is much more prevalent than on her previous outing 'Gorgeous,' is still there ("I couldn't hold your head any closer if it was stapled to my shoulder,") but she seems to want to be more serious on this single. Possibly, she's making it clear she is not doing this for a cheap laugh. You get the impression that what you hear is what you get with Laura. If you don't like it, she won't care, if you do then she will be happy with a pint and packet of pork scratchings as appreciation.
Maybe it's the nature of the guitar, or the simplicity of the backing, but this does feel like an acoustic selection of songs which are in need of a full band. I will be in attendance when she supports Tom Hingley towards the end of March, as a bit of energy when played live could make all the difference.
While I am still not mentioning her accent, I shall point out her use of the phrase, "A to Zee," This side of the pond we say Zed, no wot I mean love?