Dictaphone Blues: Beneath the Crystal Palace (EMI)

 |   |  <1 min read

Dictaphone Blues: Cliche
Dictaphone Blues: Beneath the Crystal Palace (EMI)

Like Marty McFly at the high school dance in Back to the Future, Ed Castelow of Dictaphone Blues has beamed himself back to crucial touchstones in pop-rock (classic Fifties chords, Beatles era choruses, Seventies power pop, American stadium rock from the Eighties) and distilled them into this shamelessly enjoyable collection which is smart enough to play spot-the-reference (Cheap Trick, Don't Fear the Reaper etc) but also stands proudly in its own right.

From an alphabet of influences (Badfinger, Beatles, Big Star and Boston for starters), Dictaphone Blues deliver songs which are as enjoyable as the Glitter Band (the echoed stomp of What Happened to Or Love?), frighteningly intense (the Oasis-cum-Indo-rock psychedelics of Spicy Fruit Loaf), as catchy as bubblegum (Friends Need Friends) and allow for Springsteen-scale lighter-waving (the seven minute Shake a Leg).

My Girl Anymore and What You Wanted You Got could have been hits in any decade since Elvis, and Dwight Twilley called to say he wants his Buddy Holly/echoplex style back (Burning Ball from Outer Space)

With widescreen production Phil Spector might admire, hooks big enough to land swordfish, half-familiar melodies, and cannoning drums behind stacked-up jangle guitars and sweeping synth-strings, this is a sheer delight and only the hardest heart won't be amused, seduced and delighted.

Doesn't sound remotely ironic, just like a splendid time was had by all . . . and it's infectious.

Like great pop-rock should be.

Want to read more about addictive and enjoyable power pop. Start here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

Jordan Reyne: How the Dead Live (www.jordanreyne.com)

Jordan Reyne: How the Dead Live (www.jordanreyne.com)

I guess when Creative New Zealand were looking for someone to write music to raise awareness of the country's historical and cultural heritage they wouldn't have had a long list. Right at the top... > Read more

Lucinda Chua, Antidotes (4AD/digital outlets)

Lucinda Chua, Antidotes (4AD/digital outlets)

The lines between ambient and contemporary classical music are very blurred here – the album being her two EPs combined – by this cellist and singer-songwriter from London who presents... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases,... > Read more

Stan Freberg and Daws Butler: Elderly Man River (1957)

Stan Freberg and Daws Butler: Elderly Man River (1957)

The best satire is timeless because it pokes fun at human frailties and foibles, and the most pompous and authoritarian among us. These days we don't hear quite so much from “the... > Read more