I submitted my last music review in 2005. Attempts since then have all failed. Uninspired, dried up, overwhelmed by the pointlessness?
I got a stray email asking me for one more go. It wasn’t very welcome but I know the guitar player from those olden days in Leeds and I trust him. I trust everyone who has worked in a library.
I was NOT expecting what I got.
B Shells are a brand-new proposition. Their debut album is self-composed, self-arranged, self-performed, self-recorded, slef-engineered, self-mastered and self-distributed. Indie purism at its best.
But stuff the purism. The musical DNA goes back to Beatles and Beach Boys and Cocteau Twins, and to The Voltaires (an earlier incarnation who I reviewed long ago).
We have seven songs to consider. Each is a little gem and every listener will find the one that hits their sweet note. For me, the stand up and salute song of greatness is the final track “Two More Years”. I just love this song. Every time it starts, I have that gulp of emotional lift that tickles the tear ducts (my ultimate test of any great film or piece of pop music). It swirls around some sort of regret (“Chin up, don’t look down…”) and the wonderful guitar sounds ring very true. A song of regret? Of faded youthfulness? It’s pointless me telling what all these songs sound like or might be about, I want you to find them for yourselves. They have the classic quality of being about the life and the experience of anyone who cares to listen carefully. That’s what music does when it’s done with love and talent.
I won’t go on. You’re already here, on the greatest invention of the 20th Century. Click the right spot, have a listen. Go to Bandcamp and open your heart. Congratulate yourself for noticing the perfect guitar line that punctuates “Grace”, three songs in. You’ll know it’s what I’m talking about as soon as it pops up. But do let it come in its own time, the songs are thoughtfully sequenced. Sit back and enjoy it. (Guaranteed)