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The New | Supersexe (The New)
There are times when you feel guilty about music thinking you should only like a specific genre, follow a certain sound, recognise only those in your chosen field. Then again, why tie yourself down. I'm all for tender, fragile melody under a lovesick sweet voice and I can listen to the Penguin Café Orchestra anytime of day, but sometimes it's great to hear big dumb power-pop. The type of thing where you know exactly when the chorus will kick in and what it'll sound like. So, despite their name, they are nothing of the sort. This shouldn't stop you from enjoying this, however. The opening title track comes in hard and loud, does that thing where it gets quieter for the start of the verse, builds and then, right on cue, launches into a soaring chorus. Never Can Tell does more of the same but, whichever Goodhue twin - Ian or Dylan - is singing, puts more of a rasp in his voice and also has a fabulously tacky rhyme of 'casino' and 'camino'. The Belly riffed opening of Smoking Gun thunders along and then, guess what, goes into a terrifically bouncy chorus, complete with full-on guitar action. You can't listen to this sort of thing all day, but at times it's all you need. There is a frightening moment when Ashtray comes in and sounds a bit Manics, - the chorus rescues it, but be warned. Another distinguishing point from the Welsh mob is humour, which She Used To Be English shows with its follow up line "but she's doing much better now." Despite that, there are some British influences here, which distinguishes them from their numerous US counterparts as it adds an off-kilter aspect to the songs, meaning they sound not-quite American and this will be because they're Canadian (not that there's anything wrong with that). As the album progresses they settle down some and even introduce strings into the finale, Tintin, which finds our cartoon hero alone after the death, or worse, of his cohorts. He should put this on, it'll cheer him up.

Laurence Arnold
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002