Blue and green record exploding into shards


If the name Tartrazine evokes to you images of a fanzine devoted to dominatrixes then don’t worry, you are not alone. Thankfully, the band’s music doesn’t live up to this image.

Describing this single as ‘melodic summer pop’, Tartrazine seem to have missed out the ‘from 1996’ part of that sentence, which would be more illustrative of what they sound like. With a vocalist who has more than a hint of Damon Albarn about his voice, and tunes that wouldn’t be out of place alongside Blur and Ocean Colour Scene, listening to ‘Together’ takes you back ten years without bringing playground taunts and Nike poppers.

However, it’s not completely a positive thing. The song’s structure is indeed from a simpler time, sounding in places like a Kinks song and adhering totally to the Brit-pop sensibility, but the performance isn’t really up to scratch. Damon Albarn manages with his substandard vocal talent because he belts out songs with conviction, but Tartrazine’s vocalist Fuzzy sounds a little self-conscious, which only serves to highlight his struggle with the material. Everything sounds a bit lacklustre – from the tinny guitar to the top-end drums, the recording needs to be given a big fat bass enema urgently. This is most likely a result of circumstances and so can’t be taken as a reason to fuck off the band, but it just makes it a little bit more difficult to appreciate them.

B-side ‘Motel’ strides even further into the Blur sound, to the extent that it could be the lost track of the Parklife album. Yet this still isn’t a brilliant thing, as there’s a band that have already flooded that bit of the market (Blur!). To reach anything near greatness, Tartrazine will either have to embrace their sound and become a tribute band, or take a long hard look at themselves and go another way. There’s potential here, but it needs to be seriously reworked.

Guest article from Heather P.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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