Monday, 1 February 2010

Northern Portrait – Criminal Art Lovers

The boys from Copenhagen return, hoping to capitalise on their fine EPs of 2008. The main problem they have over the longer format, is trying to hide their main influence, or at least make it seem less like plagiarism. And once the Smiths comparison is lodged in your mind it’s difficult to shake, which is a shame, because it takes away from anything Northern Portrait have. The Munchhausen In Me is a rather lovely song, redolent of early Trashcan Sinatras, but the sense of taking on someone else’s identity is still there, especially come the yodelling at the end. When Goodness Falls has a lovely initial identity, and then collapses into pastiche. Crazy surpasses all of these, by being simply brilliant. It has a beautiful rich croon, pinpoint jangling guitars and is reminiscent of The Man From Delmonte. The Operation Worked But The Patient Died wafts past in an air of nothingness, while Life Returns To Normal is a world weary, but reassuring jangle pop tune. What Happens Next? Is another Smiths take done to perfection, is it good enough though? Gene were considered pastiche, but had the tunes and range to carry it off. Not sure about these guys though. That’s When My Headaches Begin is wonderfully epic and over reaching and probably should have been the closer. New Favourite Moment is good though, a lovely slice of classic stylish indie pop. The jury’s still out, as the tunes are very good, but often too much like someone else’s.

Criminal Art Lovers is out now on Matinee Recordings

Northern Portrait myspace is here

No comments: