Whenever I’ve heard what Google tells me is the genre of “Jangle Pop”, I always like to imagine one of the characters of George Lucas’ seminal 1973 classic American Graffiti driving down the boulevard to ‘Sloop John B’. Fast forward 40 years or so and Sheffield’s Thee Mightees are on of the latest bands to keep it going with their second LP, titled Glimmer.
There’s a lot to say about an album that manages to be so soft and cute but also wildly different at the same time. Opener ‘Emoji Dreamworld’ breaks in with Tetris-like keyboards fighting against a patterned guitar riff that wouldn’t go amiss on a Spector record, but quickly sets out on a cloud of soft melodies with a lo-fi vibe. The lo-fi beauty is carried on throughout like an Egyptian Pharaoh, especially in album highlights ‘Postcard Dolphin’ and ‘Shinning Sea’. The intricacy of the riff in ‘Shinning Sea’ directly from its beginning shows itself in a better manner than in the rest of the record, helped on by an overall sense of despondency in the song.
Too much of any one emotion loses its appeal quite quickly, regardless of whether it’s welcomed or not. However, the questioning lyrics used by the band within a majority of the songs add to its real-life authenticity. Take album closer ‘Postcard Dolphin’ with “Why can I never sit still?” being slowly sung in a disregarding motion. Even after multiple listens, there’s a distinctive slowness to the songs that their first record Smiling was lacking in all its Parquet Courts-infused glory. Not to say that that hinders Glimmer, just purporting it more as an album to be played for the slow dances at prom, instead of being blasted at the late-night after-parties.
Throwing caution to the wind, a lyric on ‘The Forgetful One’ pretty much sets up the kind of “Jangle Pop” that is inhibited in 2016 – “Do you think about the past or imagine something new?” relaying the idea of a lack of precautionary measures that are helping this band to bring something different to a sometimes bland UK music scene.
Gimmer is out now on Fuzzkill and Chud Records.