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Contrast; The: A Sinister Flick

Having previously been signed to Little Stevie Van Zandt's Wicked Cool Records, the UK's The Contrast stay closer to home for their seventh album, having now signed with the ever growing Angel Air label. Thankfully however this quintet have decided that one change doesn't necessarily require another and for A Sinister Flick, what we get are some familiar 60s tinged ideas and sharp Pop hooks. More bands than I have space to mention jump to mind as the sixteen tracks here swizz by, with the strongest impressions being Cosmic Rough Riders, The La's, R.E.M. and The Byrds. All of which should leave you in little doubt that The Contrast groove and shimmy and shake in a retro approved way, while having a bite and sound that brings things more (although not right) up to date.

Each song is a story, with the bouncy beats, clean picked melody lines and easy vocals, which sit neatly between Pop cheese and deep melancholy, uplifting some surprisingly weighty themes, leaving their mark on your memory as they do so. The band's reliance on creating fictional character, or caricatures through which to relate some deeper ideas can become a bit tiresome, with "Balloon Man", "Mr Antenna", "The Corndog King", "Doctor Strange", "Johnny The Torch", "Stick Man", "Mr Snake", "Ghost Man" and "Incredible Girl" sounding like the latest set of Marvel Superhero movies (please, no more Superhero movies!) and while the topics are usually far wider in scope than mere personal tales, a little more variety in this department wouldn't go amiss.

Through the similarity in much of the material, in truth sixteen songs does prove one or two too many, however there actually isn't bad track in sight and the likes of "Stick Man", "Balloon Man" and "Heavens To Murgatroyd" have a nifty knack of insisting on being recalled for hours on end.

If you are looking for a modern-ish piece of retro that knows exactly what it is about and exactly why, then The Contrast are for you and A Sinister Flick is something you'll want to sit through time and again.

Track Listing
1. We Are The Monsters
2. Balloon Man
3. Mr Antenna
4. The Corndog King
5. Saving My breath
6. Heavens To Murgatroyd
7. Days Of Wonder
8. Doctor Strange
9. Johnny The Torch
10. Stick Man
11. A Sinister Flick
12. Mr Snake
13. Ghost Man
14. Incredible Girl
15. Maze Of Memories
16. There's Always A Chance

Added: November 20th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Contrast on AngelAir
Hits: 2228
Language: english

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