Beach Boys influenced orchestral pop meets Graham Coxon-esque guitar work on Attic Lights’ latest release “Wendy”.
Whilst “Wendy” is a well honed pop song with an infectious melody, it is hard to escape the sensation that we have heard the song before. It is certainly fun, good knockabout stuff, but the musical stylings adapted by the Glasgow band are a well ploughed furrow. Recent acts such as The Rumble Strips, The Thrills and even The Feeling have produced similarly wistful pop music. It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Supernaturals album, or any other Britpop band of the era. The Britpop stylings are perhaps explained by the presence of Teenage Fanclub’s drummer Francis Macdonald in the producer’s chair, whose own band also had a canny way with a melody and a 60s West Coast style harmony.
While this vein of songwriting tradition may affirm the melody’s timeless quality, this is a double-edged sword. With such precedence for this arch and wry take on the pop song, the song itself has to transcend its particular genre. But whereas a band like Ben Folds Five would deconstruct the pop song, strip to its bare elements and still stimulate you with their grasp of songcraft and wordplay, “Wendy” is a charming song with little depth.
The overall impression of “Wendy” is of an accomplished, proficient pop song with a melody designed to burrow slowly and insidiously into your cranium. The close harmonies are a highlight, as is the aforementioned guitar work from Jamie Huston and the strings scored by Bjorn Ytlling of Peter, Bjorn and John. But beneath the polished surface lies a band that is still a work in progress.
This article was originally produced for http://www.clickmusic.com/. To read the music review of Wendy by Attic Lights on the site, please click on the article title.