Ever asked yourself what would happen if The Arcade Fire met at a Songs Of Praise in a small village near the sea? The answer can be found on Flotation Toy Warning’s latest single, which is available now on limited 7” vinyl and which features two tracks which incorporate aspects of the Velvet Underground (via ‘Loaded’), sea-shanties and odd-ball avant-pop to create a memorable, if rather unusual pair of tracks.
The first track on this briefest of singles is ‘When the boat comes inside your house’ which opens with massed voices singing a traditional sea-shanty style opening before the song takes a step into Pavement territory with oddly endearing-yet-out-of-tune vocals allied to piano, jangling guitar and pared-down drums. It’s strikingly unconventional and recalls but a handful of acts that have crawled out of the underground over the last two decades or so, but how you feel about it will undoubtedly depend on how interested in indie music you are and for those of you looking for a more instant fix you’d be well advised to look elsewhere. For those of you who are keen on exploring the unusual then this is actually a mighty fine song and the b side, which is in much the same vein, does not disappoint either with its stoned, woozy opening sample giving way to what sounds like a cracked gramophone playing deteriorated Eels records. Overall it is a melodic, attractive single that will do much to impress fans of skewed, heart-broken pop music and it stands recommended to fans of latter day Velvet Underground, Eels, Spiritualized, Pavement and their ilk and for SonicAbuse it stands out as a refreshingly different piece of work to our ordinary fare comprising, as it does, a wealth of ideas in just over ten minutes of new music. A worthy effort and you can check the band out on tour in France in September and October this year.
It occurred to me that I made a comment in this review which made sense in my head but which translated incredibly badly!! When describing the vocals I called them “endearing yet out of tune” – that’s not exactly what I meant – rather than the vocals are unusual and stand apart from the current trend of auto-tuning each and every part out of existance. Think Lou Reed or Steve Malkmus and you don’t exactly think perfectly pitched but equally you don’t think out of tune… that was what I was aiming for, I’m sorry if that came across badly!!!