Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Review: The Ladybug Transistor

Can't Wait Another Day (Fortuna Pop)

Can't Wait Another Day (Fortuna Pop)

The delightfully named The Ladybug Transistor would have been part of indie pop's Royal Family, had they existed in the early 1980s.

The Brooklyn band could have held their own with the brilliance of Lloyd Cole and The Commotions, The Wedding Present and Go-Betweens - three of the finest pop collectives given to us by that patchiest of eras.

As it turns out, despite five previous albums, The Ladybugs have barely blipped pop's success radar - and a decade on from their inception remain, inexplicably, the genre's classic underachievers. Hopefully that is about to change.

If there is any justice, Can't Wait Another Day, their latest album, will be a massive hit. From start to finish, this is a superb collection of songs.

Band founder and singer-songwriter Gary Olson is a clever lyricist - in the mould of Lloyd Cole or Edwyn Collins. His restrained baritone vocal chords lie somewhere between Cole and Wedding Present front-man David Gedge.

As for the music, the Ladybugs are purist 80s indie - unfailingly catchy lush pop - and they share a similar subject matter of trouble-torn love songs, melancholy and desolation. The album is tinged with sadness though - drummer San Fadyl died earlier this year due to complications from severe asthma - but Can't Wait Another Day is far from gloomy.

And in the beautifully upbeat gem that is I'm Not Mad Enough, they have produced one of the best tracks I've heard all year.

The remaining tunes throw up everything from the warm and luxuriant to the emotionally tangled and reflective.

Terry, Three Days From Now and So Blind are all excellent songs that demand full attention throughout.

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