Thursday, May 14, 2009

Review: Bricolage - Bricolage (* * * 1/2)

Scottish pop-rockers Bricolage are the latest in a steady stream of great bands to emerge from Glasgow over the last few years. Graham Wann, Wallace Meek, Darren Cameron, and Colin Kearney make fun, sunny music with impossibly catchy choruses and a generous amount of charm on their self-titled debut album, which was released earlier this week on Slumberland records. The record is much less concerned with experimentation than it is with providing hummable melodies and fantastic vocal harmony, and Bricolage succeeds in creating an appropriately energetic set of tunes for ushering in the approaching summer.

It would be easy, and probably true in many regards, to call Bricolage's pop sound derivative (Orange Juice, anyone?), but you'd have to be a real scrooge to let it bother you much. Plus, the guys are smart enough to combine their influences into something that feels fresh despite its familiarity. Songs like the bouncy "Footsteps," and the light, playful "The Spoilsport's Retort" are pure sugary goodness, with harmony in all the right places and more than competent musicianship to back up Wann's delightfully accented vocals. The band slow the tempo for a couple tracks, shaking things up with the drowsy (pun somewhat intended) "Sleepwalk To Me" or the Tropicana-tinged "Plots are for Cemeteries," but the pace is - thankfully - kept in high gear for much of the record. The songs falter a bit near the end, but there's enough solid material here to qualify for repeated and enjoyable listens.

Bricolage is, at the least, a good showcase of the quartet's talents and an indication that we can expect more from them in the future. Their sense of melody is impeccable and they've got pop music mechanics down to a science, which they use to make a sound that's deceptively easy and - much of the time - irresistible. It would be a shame to let these guys fall through the cracks, so check them out on MySpace or head over to my previous post for a song download and video.