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Promote This: Belgian Fog, The Merrylees & The Strange Times

Posted by August 2nd, 2014 No Comments »

Belgian Fog – “Before You Ever Talked” and “Loveless Way”

Right away, I think maybe I’ve heard this distant-sounding electronic plinking. Belgian Fog don’t bury the lead hook on “Before You Ever Talked,” a song about the fleeting magic of first attraction.  The band is the project of Seattle’s Robert Dale and his pleasant, melancholy vocals are cleverly pitch-shifted in places, with lots of well-used falsetto; and that repeated keyboard hook matching the vocals? Tasty. The electronic tones in “Loveless Way” are more polished, but not as catchy, the vocals again describe emotional fragility and desperation with more gentle falsetto. A bit on the chill side, but in the right context this band hits the mopey electro pop target. – Abe Beeson

Listen to “Before You Ever Talked”

Listen to “Loveless Way”

The Merrylees – “For You”

The Merrylees “For You” feels as though it was plucked directly from 70s psychedelia in that weird space between when The Beatles’ dropped their boyish uniformity and The Wall coming out. While the Scotland-based band puts on a somewhat convincing act, I suspect the cause for their over-stimulating visual component comes from a generally underwhelming live presence. Also, by borrowing from such a flamboyant time period in modern music, and then acting so blasé, works against the band. At a certain point, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the band’s persona and what they’ve borrowed from the past. They are their own revival act and, sadly, there’s nothing holding my interest or incentivizing me to seek them out. Then again, I am sober at the moment. – Cameron Deuel

The Strange Times – “Firing” and “Potion”

The Strange Times video for their get-loaded party song “Potion” (from the recent EP I Love Cops) is a fun look at the band and their friends rocking out, getting high and having a good time. If I had a little dive bar with a stage, I’d want these New York-based kids on it. Musically, the tune is fun pop punk with metallic guitar flourishes and an unnecessary “woooo”-filled slow break that almost ruins the fun. A stronger tune, the new single “Firing” turns to the classic punk lament of society’s plan for the youth, straight-up punk-metal with the fun repeated phrase, “school, work, die”, but The Strange Times are just getting started. The band takes us into snotty jangle pop, an odd bridge back to punk, then a string-plinking breakdown that builds to a dramatic climax, returning again to jangle out – quite a journey! – Abe Beeson

Listen to “Firing”

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