review archive

The Bank Holidays – Day For Night (Lost and Lonesome)

Hey! Through the usual set of random webbo associations, I’d been rocking my wee stripy socks to a great video for this song ‘Tread Easy’ by some band called The Bank Holidays. Filmed on ageing Super8 stock, it’s all summertime wistfulness with great outfits and rubbish golf swings (the best kind really). Then, whaddaya know? The Bank Holidays ‘Day For Night’ EP bursts through my letterbox courtesy of Mark from Lost and Lonesome (also of The Lucksmiths/ The Cut Outs/ always-at-the-same-top-indie-pop-happening-as-Kitten fame). Coincidence? Perhaps.

 

‘Day for Night’ is a set of five lush, sweeping summershine popsongs in which harmonies sparkle like the sun never sets, which is kinda incongruous as I’m listening to this on a train ‘speeding’ through the winter-wonderland that is the post-Christmas Suffolk countryside, with snowflakes like paper plates careening past the windows. But then I suppose it is summer on the other side of the world from whence The Bank Hols hail.

Track one, ‘She’s Not Into Love’ is a glinting mix of beat group sing-song 60s pop (say, Freddie & The Dreamers), shimmering Essex Green West Coast folkiness and the shining pop polish of latter-day Belle & Sebastian. If your teeth start to ache at the very suggestion of feyness, then get out now, because the words, ‘Am I too polite for a girl who wants more than this?’ and ‘like a button sewn to a blouse’ are about to be sung. Meanwhile the rest of us will drift off on a spangling, buzzing, snow-melting sunshine trip.

‘Like A Piano’ features oddly measured, precisely enunciated girl vocals which add a squeaky-clean Julie Andrews sheen to proceedings as violins swirl richly, guitars jangle and we all sway happily, swinging our polka-dotted handbags. Then, ‘Can’t Be Beat’ is a Beach Boys swoon of dip-diving harmonies, trilling flute and pealing guitars and as such is the Kitten fave here. We’re halfway through the EP, and by this point you should be getting little synapse-tickling rushes at the saturation levels of primary pop colour bursting from these songs.

‘Leave It Out’ isn’t a Chas ‘n’ Dave tribute, but a Beatlesy twangalong, complete with backwords guitar outro, and finally, ‘Not So Long Ago’ recalls the twinkling delights of Paul Chastain and Rik Menck’s many and varied beat projects - The Springfields, The Choo-Choo Train, Velvet Crush. It takes this mop-shaking pop-fun and flings in beams of brass that lift the whole shebang even higher into the stratosphere, then insanely layers on the melody so that by the end you’re grinning like a sugar-frosted loon.

www.thebankholidays.com
www.lostandlonesome.com.au

R.R.R.G: Chirping accidental kick

[back to record reviews]