Finally the debut album by The Favourites has been released - a mere 38 years after it was recorded and the band put out there first two very collectible singles, covers of Abba's SOS and The Wasps' Angelica originally on 4 Play Records.
So for the majority of us who had never heard of them, here is a bit of the history. They wre formed by members of Plummet Airlines and the GTs and the band's members would then go on to feature in The Pogues, Darts, The Deadbeats, The Brainiac 5 and Proudfoot among others.
The album opens with the band's debut single, SOS. They turn it into more of a power pop treat that and it's far better than the glam metal murdering of it I heard Fozzy do recently. This is a cool version. There's just enough pleading in the vocals and some slightly discordant guitars to lift it clear of just being a cover of the Abba classic.
Favourite Shoes is a decent power pop plea for you to dance in your favourite shoes as the singer seems to have a fetish for them. It ends up sounding a bit like Buzzcocks meets The Flaming Groovies.
On My Mind opens with some cool stereo effects and urgent guitars on an Instrumental that sounds like it's a demo in need of some cool lyrics. I See You is one of those almost conversational love songs to a woman who has left them for someone cooler.
Only Want To Love You feels like a rehearsal demo for a song that would then have loads of effects added to it in a studio to make it into the Shoegaze classic it could have been. As it is, it's a wistful, sparse love song which feels a bit on the fey side despite having the sort of chorus that would have been a potent sing-along live.
Perfect Partners has a cool intro with odd noises and effects that lead into a cool song about struggling to find the balance between a day job and making your dreams a reality while being too knackered to really spend enough time with your perfect partner. It's wistful and sounds really yearning.
Side one closes with It's Impossible: full of pleading to a woman who won't leave her man to be with him full of nifty guitars and a real will she won't she be his feel to it.
Side two opens with the band's second single Angelica: a cover of The Wasps power-pop classic. As with SOS, they do do a pretty cool version of this song of teen lust and how you persuade an inexperienced girl to become experienced without ever feeling like they are crossing the line into being cherry poppers or dirty old men.
Cold is a decent song about a woman who always leaves him cold over a decent slow power-pop strut. One Of Those Dreams is all about a wet dream they keep having about a women and how they want her to be theirs and how likely that is to become a reality.
Alone In The Darkness is a plea for the woman he so desires to share the darkness with him so that he's not all alone at home by himself. This plea is delivered over some very basic power-pop that accentuates the lyrics well as he pleads and it descends musically.
Talk About It is a break up song (or a song of regret) wherein the singer feels he's just another notch on her busy dance card. He is bitter and twisted and wants her to stop all the talking and be his. Private Eyes, meanwhile, isn't a song about detectives but more about love and lust while moving on from an ex-partner.
The album closes with New Feeling - about the new feelings stirred in him by a new partner, it seems. It's both plaintive and lustful and comes across like he's going to have a premature ejaculation at the pace this is played. At this rate, the excitement will be over almost as quickly as the three and a bit minutes of the song.
This is an album for lovers of obscure powerpop and lo-fi power pop. It was recorded at the legendary Decca Studios in West Hampstead where The Beatles recorded a demo that failed to get them a deal and somehow that only adds another reason for going out and sourcing this album.
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