Album: Goldheart Assembly, Wolves and Thieves (Fierce Panda)
There's much to enjoy about this debut album from a hotly-touted new London band, particularly the poignant edge to their soaring West Coast harmonies on tracks such as "Anvil" and "So Long St Christopher", which puts one in mind less of Beach Boys/Byrds/ CSNY than their original inspiration, The Everly Brothers.
This signals an admirable determination to trace influences back to the root source. Less welcome is the retro-1970s AOR sound of the first single "King Of Rome", an organ-driven prog-pop exercise redolent of ELO, Toto and Fleetwood Mac. They fare better with the folksy autoharp and earnest charm of "Last Decade", and the glinting lap steel of "Engraver's Daughter", which situates them in the British country-rock lineage of Brinsley Schwarz and Teenage Fanclub. I'm not entirely convinced by their incorporation of the rumbling steam-engine sounds of the Industrial Museum in which the album was recorded, or the protracted bout of bogus laughter that concludes "Reminder". And it's a shame that they didn't find anything to fill in the second half of "Carnival", which just arpeggiates tediously for over eight minutes.
Download this: Anvil; Last Decade; Engraver's Daughter; So Long St Christopher