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Album Review: Screaming Maldini - And The Kookaburra Sings

When Indie pop is done well it can be fantastic, when it’s done badly, a waste of time. Screaming Maldini, Alcopop’s latest gems, are firmly in the former camp. They fall comfortably between Reverend and the Makers and Hard Fi, and on a number of occasions on the EP outshine both. What makes Screaming Maldini an infinitely more interesting prospect than the aforementioned heavyweights is that their EP, ‘And The Kookaburra Sings’, demonstrates variety. Every song is different, yet maintains enough similarity to ensure the band don’t come across as confused. ‘And The Kookaburra Sings’ is a thoroughly accomplished collection of music from a band that is destined for bigger things.

Opening track ‘Secret Sounds’ sounds like Bloc Party jamming with Damon Albarn. Though undoubtedly there is some hidden meaning behind the lyrics, the track appears to be about a Kookaburra and has one of those choruses that will be stuck in your head for days. ‘Secret Sounds’ is a track designed to make you get your dance on, and there’s no questioning that you will. On ‘The Extraordinary’ the band introduce us to a sound that is more prevalent than any other across the EP. The band utilise brass sections, akin to the late sixties/early seventies television themes, and not too dissimilar to those used by Mark Ronson on ‘Versions’ and it works very well. Although this is the one track on the album where they sound the most like Hard Fi, this is no bad thing as ‘The Extraordinary’ is another great track.

Third track, ‘The Albatross’ displays the band in a completely different light. There is something about this track that is almost like The Carpenters. It may simply be the introduction of a very pure sounding female vocalist, but the slow tempo, and Bacarach-esque instrumentation of the opening half of the song also add to this feeling. Beautifully atmospheric, this is the best track on the EP, but probably the least representative of the band’s overall sound. It’s back to the Bloc Party comparisons on penultimate track ‘I Know That You Know That I Would Wipe The Snowflake From Your Eye’. The drums create an awesome dance beat, which is well complimented by the return of the sixties style brass sections. Despite the upbeat tune, the song itself is a rather lamenting love song, which is surprisingly beautiful.

The structure of final track ‘Miniatures’ is odd. It is in essence a great song that has been ruined by placing a completely different song slap bang in the middle of it. There is absolutely no reason why the ska/electronic mash up that occurs midway through the track should be there, it really doesn’t work. However on the whole this is a minor blip, on what is a very addictive EP.

There is no doubts that off the back of this solid effort, Screaming Maldini have the potential to be huge. They are certainly better than a lot of the tripe that currently gets recognition in their genre. If you are looking for Indie Pop that guarantees a good time and harks back to the golden age of pop, this is definitely for you.

'And The Kookaburra Sings' by 'Screaming Maldini is released on February 22nd on Alcopop Records.

Screaming Maldini on MySpace

Dan Issitt

Alter The Press!