By Bastion 4
There appears to be an uncanny tendency for singles that are described on their press blurbs as "infectiously summer-sounding" to make their way into my possession when the weather is generously providing me with the chance to experience first-hand what it might be like to be drowned in a tidal-wave of piss whilst making my way through a Norwegian tundra. Bastion 4's new release is no exception to the rule, but the songs on display here possess more than enough imagination and pizazz to propel them from the status of being merely "summery-sounding" into the realm of "actually quite catchy".
As far as appropriately named song titles go, "The tale of Gideon Strange" does mange to do itself considerable justice. Opening with a Britpop-esque guitar line, any initial thoughts that we are in Cast or Shed Seven territory are quickly banished by the introduction of the first verse which is sung in the style of a "Liam Gallagher meeting Captain Bluebeard" sea shanty. Very strange indeed. The rest of the song manages to follow this quirky momentum whilst retaining the listener's attention span - not a talent every band of this ilk is capable of.
Elsewhere, "Escape the Rot" and "Legendary Divorce", although not bestowed with the same instant hummableness as the title track do showcase some very good off-kilter coral-style indie-pop workouts. Well worth checking out if you are a fan of the aforementioned Scousers, or indeed good catchy guitar-based music.