Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Very Foundation – This Restless Enterprise

The Very Foundation – This Restless Enterprise

Okay, okay... I admit it, I never got the Stone Roses (and me a Manc), never understood Beck, didn’t really like the Pixies all that much and, although Neil Young is to me like God is to the Catholics, I’ve never been keen on Crosby, Stills, Nash, with or without Young. All these I tend to keep quiet, mainly because people attempt to convert you. Yes, I can tell they are all very good at what they do and I should like it, but I don’t. Sorry Jeeee-sus.

However, Belle and Sebastian are a band I vehemently hate. Hate. And still people try to convert me. Yes, I can tell they’re very good at what they do and I should like it, but I hate it. So when the first thing that came to mind when listening to The Very Foundation was ‘hmmm, it’s a bit like the guy from Silver Jews fronting Belle and Sebastian’, you may be left thinking I hate The Very Foundation (what a wonderful sentence). Well I don’t. I very much like The Very Foundation.

They’re cute these lot. It starts off all brass and joy; you can imagine them in the recording studio on trampolines, hitting each other with feather filled pillows. After that we get a few sombre moments but generally there’s a kind of flamenco flick that keeps everything from being all too obvious.

The best way to listen to This Restless Enterprise is to play a sort of guessing game as the songs go along. How is this one going to pick me up, make me smile a bit? Maybe it’ll be hand claps, possibly a trumpet solo, who knows... it might be a song about pornography induced insomnia. Sometimes the guessing game turns into ‘why haven’t you done justice to this’, as in the case with Signs & Wonders which starts like it’s going to break your heart and leaves you feeling depressingly unchanged. In fact, the latter moments of the album seem to consist of The Very Foundation arranging their fantastic pop songs in such a way that it’s hard to fight through the bullshit. It is, however, worth the fight.

Sean Gregson

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