Wednesday, December 3, 2014
REVIEW: The Popguns - Pop Fiction
The album opens with strength -- the ringing guitars and floating vocals of "City Lights" evoking an the end of the day and the promise of the evening. The pace picks up with the appealingly chugging "If You Ever Change Your Mind", telling a story of almost-not-quite-maybe-never mind love (I think most of us can relate to that). Track three is the buoyant lover's plea, "Lovejunky", which we reviewed when it was released earlier this year as a single (review here). Next is "Still Waiting for the Winter", a thoroughly captivating addendum to their long ago hit "Waiting for the Winter". Wendy sings "if you're still waiting for the winter, then you already missed her / And she's never coming back again / Yeah I heard that she's OK, still a world away / Were you hoping for the rain?", and then closes with "I felt the coming of the winter, my heart began to shiver / Cos we're never coming back again / We're already on our way, half a world away / never coming back again". It is one of my favorite songs on the album.
"Alpha Romeo" is a melodic and bittersweet cautionary tale of fame and life on the road, apparently inspired by American musician Chet Baker. "Out of Sight" and "Not Your Night Tonight" dial it down to contemplate love and relationships after the lustful teens and 20s. In the former the narrator muses about whether her long distance lover thinks of her when they are apart. In the latter, she advises a hopeful suitor that she isn't interested. The pace picks up again for two songs that also seem paired. In "Leaning on the Backline" Wendy takes a wistful look back at old times and past friendship. In "Something Going On, over buzzing guitars, the narrator expresses irritation with an long ago acquaintance who seems to want something in which she has no interest. Fittingly, the closing track, "I'll See You Later", tells of a woman who calls time on a relationship as she looks forward to the possibilities of the future; meanwhile, the band rocks out.
Pop Fiction finds The Popguns supremely accomplished, fully inspired and on top of their game. The album is available in CD and digital formats from the ever tasteful Matinee Recordings. If you want to stream it before you buy it, hit the band's Bandcamp link below.
The Popguns are Wendy Pickles, Simon Pickles, Greg Dixon, Pat Walkington, Tony Bryant, and Kate Mander.
Matinee Recordings page for Pop Fiction