Spinning Coin - Permo - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Spinning Coin - Permo

by Nathan Fidler Rating:4 Release Date:2017-11-10
Spinning Coin - Permo
Spinning Coin - Permo

Spinning Coin, hailing from Glasgow, is a band borne out of the Sean Armstrong Experience, playing bedraggled Scottish guitar pop. Their first album, having released cassettes previously, is Permo, weighing in with 14 tracks.

That little nugget of information is important. 14 tracks for any normal band is a slog, giving themselves an uphill struggle since there’s more risk you’ll turn the listener off if you don’t have enough well-crafted ideas. The second salient thing to know is that a lot of these songs came from jam sessions, and while that can be good for some bands, it’s not always the case - it certainly isn't here.

‘Tin’ has a rattling rhythm which propels the track forward, with an off-kilter lead guitar and the same baggy, slightly uninterested vocals found across the album, and is one of the better efforts. Sean Armstrong will surprise you, with his falsetto on songs like ‘Raining on Hope Street’ and ‘Money For Breakfast’ lending him a sound akin to Nico - it’s strange and arresting in comparison to the rest of his down-and-out vocals.

Everything on this album feels too loose, which isn’t always a band thing, like on ‘Sleepless’ where hollow guitars and a care-free chorus combine for some sheer melodic joy. But when tracks like ‘Starry Eyes’ feel like they were cobbled together with zero thought for tone, it really isn’t any fun to listen - even lyrically there is a haphazard attempt to address the state of the world.

The addition of Rachel Taylor to the band has helped matters slightly, with her soft backing vocals providing a nice cushion to some of the harsher, messier songs. ‘I Feel The Need To Be An Actor’ demonstrates this nicely, where the percussion is lazily applied without a thought for how it sounds, the combined vocals offer some comfort.

Again though, the album is a victim of the lengthy running time, making you listen for what seems like an age for only scraps of songs which hardly come together. This is a punishing album which should stand as a warning to bands: sometimes jamming isn’t as good as planning.

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