By The Blood Arm
Having converted the many fans of We are Scientists and The Sunshine Underground as a support act on both these band's UK and Ireland tours late last year, The Blood Arm are back to try and win over some more followers with the second single from their new album, 'Lie Lover Lie'.
'Angela' is certainly a curious one. It seems on a first listen like you're trying to enter into an exclusive club without your membership card, being ludicrously eccentric and lyrically somewhat inaccessible. The rather music-hall-style piano introduction is a fair indication of the tone of the whole song: a dramatic piece rather than a fully fledged indie track for the casual listener.
Nathaniel Fregoso's vocals do evoke the forced, concise phrasing and style of the West End, to the extent that you can imagine the strutting and choreography that would accompany such a song in musical theatre - not precisely what most indie music fans are particularly on the look out for.
Neither is there much on offer in terms of impressive instrumental parts - the piano right hand stays stuck on the same jerky rhythmic motif throughout the verses, and merely bashes out the chords during the rest of the song. The decoration from the left hand is a saving grace, adding some depth and interest to the song's bass part. The guitar part, most devastatingly, isn't stretching for guitarist or the listener, only managing a brief moment of glory before the closing phrase. Well, at least I can't criticise the drums at all.
Despite all of these low points, 'Angela' still manages to have hooks catchy enough to make it passable as a pop song - albeit one you don't necessarily want hanging around in your head for too long. It's probably a grower, but perhaps should still be avoided by all but those who enjoy tremendously quirky indie, and have a secret penchant for musical theatre.