Irving: Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers (Rhythmethod)

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Irving: the look of flowers that are looked at
Irving: Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers (Rhythmethod)

Because my record collection has such wayward but much loved albums by bands as diverse as the Unforgiven (spaghetti western rock), the Shoes (power pop), Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (early electro), and Bob Seger (blue-collar rock), you may be well advised to take what I say about this album by a mainstream US rock band with some caution.

There is nothing in what Irving do that is especially original: I hear echoes of the Church (oddly enough the bassist here is Alex Church), cheesy 60s pop, slivers of Blur-styled Anglopop, the soft end of the Stranglers, early 80s post-punk pop out of the UK, and even a little Creedence-meets-Big Star.

So no, Irving are not going to challenge anyone. But over the long haul there is just that something . . .

Even after a first play you remember every song (it's a rare skill to create an album of 14 songs where each one identifies itself), they have some real nice if simple arrangements of keyboards and guitars, and really know how a pop song works. (Start with a great hook and work from there).

Maybe in a month I'll be playing this only about as much as I'm playing the old Ten Wheel Drive album I bought for $2 a few weeks ago. I played that every day for a week, loved it, then then filed away.

But right now Irving, for some reason, have been commanding an unexpected amount of repeat play.

Hmmm.

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