UFO Stories LP
Bristol alternative indie band, Forest Giants, are back with a new record. They have also added a band member in the form of ex Girl Boy Girl singer Paula Knight. The latest release takes a chunk of inspiration from the people that are fascinated by UFO’s (that’s 10% of the American population and a, perhaps smaller, percentage of people from the rest of the world!).
The indie pop opener, ‘Beards’, uses a simple but effective mix of crunchy guitars, pleasant bass runs, and sprightly keyboards with plenty of vinyl-sounding ambience in the mix. The music strays just far enough away from being upbeat to ensure the lyrics (about losing touch with friends) aren’t out of place.
‘Oh No’ follows up with a great intro that judders the song in to life. The song centres around the chorus although the structure could have confused Rosalind Franklin.
Third track, ‘Peculiar Feeling’, takes a different style to its predecessors with a plodding beat that’s just about right for a long-haul horse ride. The chorus is a different matter, with a straight rhythm and far-away vocal sound.
The laid back ‘Sunrise’ mixes a clean acoustic guitar with a quiet, but heavily distorted, electric guitar that fades away for the keyboard and drums to take over more of the mix. The drums play out a creative idea that could well have featured on a Siouxsie and the Banshees record.
‘UFO Stories’ mixes some ambient instrumentation with a spoken vocal line, conjuring up a War of the Worlds spookiness. For a title track, this song doesn’t even attempt to become an ambassador for the record, being nothing like anything else that’s on offer – but this is typical of the Forest Giants, who thrive on the world of the slightly odd.
‘Late Night in the Park’ finishes off the official track listing with an acoustic-led number that ambles at a gentle pace with instruments casually wound together. There is no major separation between verse and chorus, with very subtle signals being sent from the vocal and guitar to suggest a change.
The album isn’t quite over with two additional bonus tracks in the form of the eerie ‘Interlude’ and the Pavement-esque ‘World Goes Round’.
The slacker-rock quirkiness is definitely still present for this band, but there are also Charlatans and Stone Roses references to be found amongst the experimental indie style. Unafraid of sticking out like a clown at a funeral, the Forest Giants have pulled off another cult-classic, along the lines of ‘In Sequence’, but not the same.
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Written by Fenton on