Acrylics - Lives and Treasure

by Adam Leach Rating:7.5 Release Date:2011-03-01

Whenever a band with a relatively unique sound hits the big time, it's a safe bet that a stream of similar sounding bands will soon emerge, as if out of nowhere. The explosion of The xx was no different, labels and A&R execs all went out in search of male and female singing duos or downbeat bass-driven rock-poppers to fill their slots in hope of capitalising on that 'now sound'. And it's a bloody good thing they did, because had it not been for xx, I probably wouldn't have uncovered this little pearl of an album.

Brooklyn duo Acrylics are by no means a carbon copy of last year's Mercury prize winners; they have their own sound but the two acts certainly share some genetics - musical cousins if you will. They have that cool sunglasses-indoors-shoegazey sound, but they're not afraid of a bit of sunlight either and kick the tone up to happy a number of times throughout the album.

Lives and Treasure, their debut LP, kicks off with 'Counting Sheep', a sort of indie lullaby with space age drums and synth with the male and female vocals merging together sweetly. 'Molly's Vertigo' sees them stray into Magic Numbers territory as they put the vocals front and centre to produce a catchy and moreish little pop song. 'Sparrow Song' is all about the 80s and the great synth boom as it just lets the effects do the work to good effect.

The standout track on the record is 'Nightwatch', which smoulders at the start with a tight bassline, short, sharp chord strikes and upbeat vocals to produce an addictive groove before transitioning into an ensemble climax of glorious depth. Title track 'Lives and Treasure' sees the duo employ all of their tricks and sounds to create a wonderful showpiece that ebbs and flows, tags between vocalists and builds to a hypnotic ending groove.

With this debut, Acryclics have shown they have the potential to be one of the bands which can ride to the top on the now-sounds wave and stand on their own two feet once they get there.

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