By The Modern Dance
You know when you put some demos on you automatically spend ages thinking "ooh that bit sounds like a cross between so and so and so and so" or you can't put your finger on it and you end up muttering things like "oh who the bloody hell used that chord progression, I've heard it somewhere". It's a horrible habit and we are all guilty of it - immediate comparison making! Why do we do it? Because it makes us feel safe to know that what we are listening to is familiar in some ways and fits with what we have known before. I personally will always make a best attempt to ignore what has gone before and listen to something in it's own right unless the band so obviously stick their influences right under your nose you can't help but smell the dried rock and roll sweat of yester year stuck to the chords they are using!
Well is it hard to tell who The Modern Dance are influenced by? No it's a piece of piss! If the Verve had been born in Castleford this is what they would have sounded like! Now I know you think this review is taking a turn for the worse at this point, but fear not - just because a band flaunt their influences doesn't always make it a bad thing, if they flaunt their influences but can't live up to them then yes it spells trouble ahead, but if like the Modern Dance you have mastered your art then this can be a very satisfying process.
This 3 track CD is beautifully crafted with some delicate indie soundscapes that show some gifted musician ship and songwriting. It doesn't thrill the pants of me but it certainly does itself no harm. I personally wouldn't be going to see the band based on what I've heard here, but I would know plenty of people who would - old Verve fans and post Britpop indie swayers. In fact what we do have here are 3 commendable album tracks that if they were sat at 5, 6 and 7 on a ten-track album would fit perfectly. As a demo it loses it's playability with having little to hold onto and come back to.
Track 2, and title track "Lovers in the summertime" is by far the standout of the 3 and the string work is quite spectacular and I have rarely heard a demo which makes such good use of the sweeping orchestra effect.
There is a lot to admire here and with a little more immediacy and some pop sensibilities added to the excellent musicianship it is quite likely that we could all be doing the modern dance one day very soon.