Here comes more Scottish indie pop courtesy of Matinee Recordings, the time in the form of the debut album from The Hermit Crabs. I can’t quite work out what to make of Melanie Whittle’s voice. It’s twee, but more than a little cloying. However there are moments, such as on Goodbye My Friend, when it sounds absolutely beautiful. A real marmite voice, but in this case I’m the one who loves it and hates it at the same time. There’s a moment in opening track Tonight when some discordant strings matches it for fingers down the blackboard nausea. But then on the aforementioned Goodbye My Friend, the gorgeous backing vocals set it off delightfully. Closet Fan is gentle and affecting, but doesn’t have the cutting edge it probably needs. It’s damn close though. On Lean, Free Summer you start to get the impression that it’s the whimsical lightweight tunes that the band does better. Bad Timing is an interesting oddity, a slight Mexican feel to the tune. After that’s its back to the tuneful whimsy, with a couple of the album’s better tunes, Friend’s Folk Festival and Feel Good Factor. A decent start and ones to watch.
Saw You Dancing is out now on Matinee Recordings
The Hermit Crabs myspace page is here