Prince Vaseline - A Naturally Coloured Pleasure - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Prince Vaseline - A Naturally Coloured Pleasure

by Rob Taylor Rating:6 Release Date:2015-06-03

Prince Vaseline from Brighton, on the south coast of England, release a mini-album, A Naturally Coloured Pleasure this week. Band members, Matthew Davies, Max Erl, and Eleanor Whittle are reconstituted from local band Milk & Biscuits, a dreamy indie/psychedelic outfit in thrall to the likes of Belle & Sebastian. Prince Vaseline's album is apparently inspired by Pulp’s His ‘n’ Hers, but is also influenced by British folk music, and 60s organ-led sunshine pop.

Additionally, with a quiet/loud dynamic, and a penchant for 1970s synth-pop, you have a band defying easy categorisation. Erl’s vocals at times resemble the droll baritone of Stuart Staples from Tindersticks. 

Hook-laden pop music is at the core of A Naturally Coloured Pleasure. What I found off-putting was those mawkish Casio keyboards, played at times in monosyllabic style, the repetition conjuring ugly memories of A Flock of Seagulls et al. Sorry about that, but it happens a lot, and the simplicity of the keyboard patterns really stage-managed the music, much to its detriment in my view.

There are some exceptions, like the 1960s Velvets-inspired Hungry Dog, suitable homage to that sound, and an excellent and danceable track, even if the vocals are shaded a bit grey, and ‘Hurricane’, a more upbeat and jaunty indie number where Erl’s vocals lift more brightly, the keyboards have more warmth and reverb, and the sci-fi sounds approximate the ‘singing saw’ Mercury Rev employed on Deserter’s Songs, giving the track more allure. 

One very cool thing, it's available on green cassette! Check the band out here: 


Promising but uneven. 

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