Friday, August 5, 2011
REVIEW: The Loose Salute - Getting Over Being Under
The Loose Salute released a critically acclaimed album in about 2007, and then seemed to drift off the map. Or at least they drifted off my map. Then, with regrettably little fan fare, the band released Getting Over Being Under this summer (on Big Potato Records in the UK and Graveface Records in the US). I invite you to listen to album track "Perhaps She'll Fly" while you continue to read (and if you don't want to continue to read after hearing that track, I can't help you).
The Loose Salute is headed by Mojave 3 and Slowdive drummer Ian McCutcheon, and McCutcheon's voice is remarkably similar to his old bandmate, Neil Halstead. In fact, if you listen to the first cut on Getting Over Being Under, "It's A Beautiful Thing", you could be excused for thinking that the album is going to be Oh Mighty Engine! part II. However, the error of such an assumption is quickly dispelled as the album continues. For one thing, this is a summer pop album of varied tempos and styles. For another, while McCutcheon's vocals lead on some of the tracks, the voices of the two female members of the band, Lisa Billson and Charlotte King, carry many of the tracks. For the record, the additional members of this six-piece are Alan Forrester, Robert Jesse and Alden Evans.
"Happy I Don't Count"
While the overall feel of Getting Over Being Under is light and airy, the individual songs still command the listeners attention. They reflect mature songwriting ability and the musicianship confident enough to change tempos and combine styles in a single song. Sure, the primary touchstone is US west coast dream/indie pop, there are more than a few touches of Americana and folk rock. And lyrically the songs reflect the additional years, and resultant triumphs, failures, and inevitable bruising that come with the passage of time.
The first track I heard from the album (and the one that reminds one of Neil Halstead) is the wonderful "It's A Beautiful Thing":
In case you still are in doubt, I think this is a great summer album.
Big Potato Records (UK label)
Myspace (badly out of date)