Friday 9 September 2011

The Council Wedding Band - Tam's railways

Nine months ago, wrote about Tam’s railways official return to the stage as a three-piece, with all new tunes and a tight look. The audience and the band had a very special time together that hot, passionate night. In a way, their debut release The Council Wedding Band was conceived that evening, as now, nine months and one day later, the seeds they planted have grown into a well-developed little body of work with five healthy, pink tracks.

The EP opens with the softly delivered, new wave mid-tempo Let’s Go To Town, which sounds like it’s been recorded by a band in their 40s, and this mildness is a little at odds with the theme of revolution. In spite of this, the track actually sets the tone well for a developed and considered grouping of tunes, it's just surprising for a band who can rock out onstage like CBGB punks.

Barrel of Irony is a bouncy wee rock and roll tune that owes a lot to fellow Leith residents The Proclaimers. The lyrics have a cheeky politically-left facetiousness that, through vocalist/guitarist Leigh’s charismatic delivery comes across as charming and agreeable, especially when the kazoo solo kicks in.

With its sliding bass lines, low frequency oscillating processed guitar that sounds like a synthesiser, and dancey hi-hat beat drums, Man Up the Stairs is a groovy little ditty with an air of introspection and a faint whiff of 80s dance revival.

Cream of the Crop is a clever song, as the structure is reflected in the lyrical theme. As the song describes growing up and your life changing, the song develops through a variety of different musical styles. Careful listeners will hear The Beatles and The Beach Boys in the intro harmonies, Primal Scream-adelica in the bridge, followed by a little a bit of funk in the first verse, and it goes on. When the song gets going, it proves to be the standout track from the album.

Pregnancy jokes aside, this EP certainly represents the culmination of a deliberate relaunch for Tam’s railways, and if they proceed in this direction, these three skilled musicians will achieve the success that they have the potential to achieve. The EP is out today and the band are celebrating with a gig at Sneaky Pete's, including face painting, yes, face painting, and an aftershow party at The Store which will host the debut screening of the band’s brand new music video for Let’s Go To Town. Support is provided by The 10:04s and The Remnant Kings.
Myke Hall

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