Sad Day For Puppets – Marble Gods/Big Waves (Sonic Cathedral)
Surely this current trend for evoking guitar bands of the early 90s has to stop soon? It’s so enjoyable at times, this constant reminder that The Lemonheads and Dinosaur Jr existed, but is there enough substance among these continual re-hashers to make this movement anything more than just a diversion? Sad Day For Puppets could literally have recorded this double A-side single in 1991 and no-one would know. This fact is indisputable and throws up all sorts of dilemmas about authenticity, pastiche and Pastels, even. Should any of this matter?
Marble Gods is buoyant, it bounces along with the verve of J Mascis but without the menace, and could effortlessly have featured the sonic talents of Messrs McGinley, Blake and Love, but there’s a little something extra hiding. The lazy vocals of Anna Eklund lift this from a blustering rocker into a soothing lilt, and the guitar outro is full of character. More satisfying is the second A-side, Big Waves. Again, it could quite plausibly have been composed some 15-20 years ago and made Alan Mcgee piss himself with pleasure, but it’s still a charming, charming song. The melody is effortlessly simple, the harmonies well-placed and balanced, and the plucked electric guitar tones finish it off beautifully.
So, in short and in common with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, if your songs are beautiful and fun enough to nullify any comparison, then no, it doesn’t matter that this is old hat. When the melodies start to fall into unbalanced territory, when the accompaniments cloud the heart of the popular song, that’s when it’s time for re-invention. For now, Sad Day For Puppets are doing fine. An album of such pleasures as these two would be most welcome.
This double A-side comes out on March 2nd via Sonic Cathedral, there’s more info here.