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Sky Destroys Dog | Secret Songs (self-released)
Very occasionally a home made confection falls through the CwaS letterbox and puts more 'established' offerings to shame. Sky Destroys Dog's 'Secret Songs' is such a thing, a lo-fi mini-masterpiece from NW9. An endearingly democratic sibling set-up, Ricky Haggett writes the songs that he and his brother Rob perform, the latter entrusted with recording and mixing duties. The result is a collection with its foundation in solid melodic hooks and quasi-psychedelic experimentation, where acoustic guitar laments are buoyed on a sea of whirrs and blips and double tracked vocals, like an Anglo wing of the Elephant Six posse. Oddly the website noted on the sleeve doesn't refer to Sky Destroys Dog (the name comes from the book 'The Age of Wire and String' by Ben Marcus) but does link to the less imaginatively monikered Rob & Friends who would seem to share personnel and admit to a fondness for Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, Cornelius, Olivia Tremor Control and Grandaddy all of whom could be considered reference points here. Perhaps more introverted than that shortlist might suggest, 'Secret Songs' boasts a similar intimacy on songs like A Word and opener Love Potential to fellow bed-sit Brit Graham (particularly the voiceover on the latter), elsewhere an affinity with twisted pioneers Sparklehorse. Interested parties should contact for more info.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002