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Those Dancing Days - Daydreams & Nightmares

Don’t resist Those Dancing Days, they’re going to get you in the end.



Quick question: That list of bands you’d pencilled in to amp up, ramp up and embrace the infectious temptation of r-o-c-k rock? Are Those Dancing Days on it? Nope, not on mine either. Why would they be? Their debut record wasn’t perfect, but it was a beguiling charmer; teeming with cutesy keyboard squelch, some blistering trumpets and the promise of something, potentially, kind of special.

For album two, ‘Daydreams & Nightmares’, they’ve beefed up the sound, got a bit meatier. Yeah, ok, that’s pretty relative, this ain’t Mastodon, Satan’s not going to knock on your door if you press play. Indiepop’s probably been pushed no further than gentle indierock and the production still glimmers with all-knowing sure-fire-hit-record precision, but a few years touring has definitely seen them get a bit tougher, a bit rougher. So is that a good thing? Well… It doesn’t always quite work; ‘Reaching Forward’ veers a bit too close to early nineties MTV rock (a vision of over-earnest Goths falling through the air won‘t quit for some reason), ‘Dream About Me’ drifts past fairly aimlessly and sometimes you wish that the lyrics had the venom and presence to stand up to the extra fire and frenzy that’s been found in those guitars and behind those drums.

That’s the criticism, there’s got to be some criticism right? The record‘s not perfect, but these are minor league quibbles which, anyway, are first rendered irrelevant and then blown away by ‘Fuckarias’. Seriously, you don’t want to be on the end of this tongue-lashing, the incessant keyboard jabs like fingers repeatedly poking at your chest, you can feel the furious breath of ‘You stumble and fall you’re the worst of them all / You’re in my space get out of my face’ hot and stinging against your eyes. Mental note: Do not annoy Those Dancing Days, they’re meaner than they look.

Need some respite from that? Oh man, you need ‘I’ll Be Yours’; it’s like a Labrador running at you, a big lolloping hug of a song, so damn loveable, so damn adorable. Lazy Swedish big hit comparisons? Sure thing. It’s right up there with that Wannadies song (c’mon, you know which one) and The Cardigan’s ‘Rise And Shine’. It’ll soundtrack your indie disco for months. Fall in love some time soon and this’ll be your song. Fall out of love and it’ll be the sound of your heart breaking. Listen to them whooping and hollering towards the end and they’ll be all you need to love anyway.

Too sweet? It’s ok, we’ve got some good old-fashioned stalkerpop here too. On the first record ‘I Know Where You Live’ threatened nothing more sinister than the best mixtape in the recorder. The sequel on this record sees the obsession spiralling: ‘I love everything about your life, and I won’t stop until I know that you’ll be mine’. Mental note two: Don’t resist Those Dancing Days, they’re going to get you in the end. In fact, don’t put up a fight, just give in now.

Tags: Those Dancing Days, Reviews, Album Reviews

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