Flowers - Everybody’s Dying to Meet You

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2016-02-12

This sophomore effort from the twee London-based C86 revivalists delivers on the potential suggested by 2013’s debut. That means lots of jangly guitars, Rachel Kennedy’s soaring vocal acrobatics, and charming, yearning lyrics wrapped around the occasional anthemic, Spectorish strut of tracks like ‘Bitter Pill’. And while ‘Ego Loss’ and ‘My Only Friend’ may bring Liz Fraser’s unintelligible Coctese or Delores O’Riordan’s breathy screeches to the frontal lobes, they’re delivered with an energetic, refreshing sense of wide-eyed wonder that’ll have you rooting for them to succeed, even if a restrictive sense of sameness starts to creep in before side two.

‘Intrusive Thoughts’ lives up to its title by looking inwardly for a quiet, dreamily introspective respite from its overtly pop surroundings, while ‘How Do You Do’ features Sam Ayers’ shimmering guitars glistening in the noonday sun. The punchy ‘Tammy’ gives drummer Jordon Hockley the chance to move centrestage for a few well-deserved bows and the rest of the band take his cue and break into some incessant jamming while Kennedy coos coyly, but I would like to see her develop a little more meat on those vocal chords – the crackling, stutter-step notes drop out a few more times than necessary.

But the tunes are there, the minimalist, bare bones arrangements don’t bury (or hide) any musical inadequacies in the mix, and with a little more experience and polish, Kennedy could be one of our better young vocalists. Keep at it, folks, you’re almost there.

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