marți, 5 august 2008

Sandpit - On Second Thought (1998)

“One of Australia's most unrecognised indie-pop outfits, Sandpit enjoyed a brief but productive career spanning 1994-1998. Like their previous EPs, this album was released through Fellaheen Records, and is both their first and last album, with the band members going their seperate ways after its release.
Running in at just under 40 minutes, the album is comprised of ten tracks, two of which (Along The Moors and Greater Expectations) were released as singles. The sound of the disc could be best described as fractured, melodic, indie-pop. It is this, along with guitarist Brendan Webb's tendency to experiment with altered guitar tunings and unusual chords, that have led some to liken the band to Sonic Youth.
The songs on the album range from upbeat indie-pop (Along The Moors), Hold Yr Horses, Helicopters, Greater Expectations), to slower and more reflective songs (Metamorphosis, I Positively Hate You Now, Walk In A Straight Line), while others are dynamic-driven instrumental tracks (Whole Again, DI/Eclipse) and the final track, Crepe-Paper Fortress, sounds like a combination of all these traits.
Musically, they are a guitar driven three piece, though Brendan experiments with the use of a melodica and e-bow to expand the band's sonic boundaries. Lyrically, the album is introspective and emotionally diverse, sometimes melancholic and joyful in the same song (see Along The Moors). This contrast is played upon in tracks such as Hold Yr Horses and I Positively Hate You Now), in which the emotional qualities of the lyrics and music are juxtaposed against eachother to great effect, with a nagging degree of tension accompanying each track as a result (more on this later). The main focus of the songs is on the vocals and guitar, with no real feature parts for the bass and drums, played by Stephanie Ashworth and Greg Wales respectively. This not a shortcoming, but rather a strength, as the rhythm section perform with an exceptional degree of tightness throughout the disc, not just with eachother, but also with the guitar and vocals, whether on driving tracks like Helicopters or on more rhythmically lethargic tracks like Metamorphosis.
Overall, On Second Thought provides a solid listen of creatively written and diverse indie-pop, by a band with enough variation in the mood and style of their songs to keep the record from becoming tedious, and enough musical ability and creativity to establish them as a unique group with a sound that was truly their own. Definately a shame that they didn't last any longer, but a record like this remains something to be proud of all the same.” (From Sputnikmusic).

Download : Sandpit - On Second Thought