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Little Comets - Life Is Elsewhere (Album Review)

Thursday, 22 November 2012 Written by Jonny Rimmer
Little Comets - Life If Elsewhere (Album Review)

Summery indie rock with off-beat rhythms is a very marketable sound at the moment, with the likes of Vampire Weekend and Bombay Bicycle Club making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. With that in mind, it is perhaps surprising that Little Comets have not made much of a dent in the British mainstream. Whilst they're certainly derivative in the sense that they slide into such a chart-friendly bracket, the Sunderland quartet sound remarkably comfortable with the path they've carved on this sophomore LP.

Image'Life is Elsewhere' should really have been released earlier in the year with its breezy production and jittery (often syncopated) rhythms more evocative of lazy summer days than the oncoming British winter. The Comets' quirky guitar staccato, as well as their occasional penchant for a backdrop of dreamy reverb, suggests that they listened to Foals' very own textural accomplishment 'Total Life Forever', back in 2010. Songs like 'Tense/Empty' and 'Jennifer' might sound superfluous in other hands - and there is a sense of aimlessness to these tracks to an extent – but the vocal progressions are just too fun and the choruses just too infectious.

And for all that Little Comets never seem to write in a straight-forward, four on the floor tailored structure, the majority of their tunes show evidence of melodic nous. 'Worry' and 'Bayonne' evoke 80s new wave/pop acts more than anything else, and lead vocalist Robert Coles has such a Sting-esque delivery, you can't help but scour your brain to work out “where have I heard that before?” The biggest missteps on this record are ironically the ones most lyrically divorced from their normal sound. 'Violence Out Tonight' deals with the sensitive issue of rape but sticks uniformly to the floaty, upbeat style of the rest of the album, and just sounds puzzling to say the least.

What they lack in punch, however, they make up for in creative song writing. Little Comets appear to borrow from other bands without sounding like a direct copy of any other bands; they have a foot in the past but are stylistically on their own plain. One could draw up a map of their touchstones but it is surprising that the Comets' quirky pop sound has not aroused much attention thus far.

'Life Is Elsewhere' is available now.

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