The Hermit Crabs – Correspondence Course EP (Matinee)
Of course, a band with a cute name from Glasgow who play clean-guitar string-augmented pop songs with a female vocal is going to draw a thousand comparisons. This, fair as it often is, sees so many critiques ignoring the simple pleasures this kind of music can bring us. If you excel in this unfashionable (is it now so unfashionable that it’s become fashionable again? Maybe it’s on the way out again…) then you’re almost bound to securing a small audience of die-hards, and The Hermit Crabs really deserve one.
Sensible songs, all delivered in laconic lilt and with the occasional neat string arrangement will always gain acclaim. The bounce of Turn The Clock Back is entirely worn but no less worthy – the premature influence of Traceyanne Campbell’s leathery tone hanging heavy – a delight full of regret and reflection. “Been laughing at jokes too loud, been working extra hours…” it’s all complicit with the paradigm of wistful pop success. The title track executes a lighter trick, sidelining the wist for defiance and a sparkier arrangement. All of it is imbued with simple pleasures, the sort than can come only from extended twanging solos and bar-chords played with the top two strings left open.
Elsewhere is nothing but the same simple pleasures, no wasted spaces and no unnecessary flab. Utterly fine from start to finish.
Should you wish to hear how splendid some of the sounds are on this EP, visit Matinee.