Friday, 4 July 2014

7 inch singles collection: Thrashing Doves - Lorelei

Proto- stadium rock from...


A-side: Lorelei
B-Side: Girl Called Houdini
(A&M 1988)

In the late 80's there were a lot of bands of a similar ilk to Thrashing Doves. Big guitar sounds with pretensions to epicness. However for every U2 or Simple Minds there were many bands who never quite made it to filling out arenas. Bands who were, in general, too poppy and mainstream for the alternative music press to champion, and yet not quite mainstream enough to find daytime radio play. These are the bands who fell through the cracks - some were great, some were awful, and some were plain mediocre. Thrashing Doves were one of these bands.

Lorelei is quite rocky in outlook - but very 80's soft rock. Filled with the obligatory synthesizer stings and yearning, almost wistful vocals. This is a requiem to unrequited love - a bit of a soft rock cliche - but it's done well in this case. There's a nice little guitar solo in the middle which I didn't expect and elevates the song somewhat. I was surprised at how much I like this - although maybe I shouldn't have been because I do have another couple of Thrashing Doves singles - so I must have thought something of them at one point. Other than that it's a bit ordinary, a not distinctive.I could easily listen to this kind of thing without complaining, on the other hand it really wouldn't register much as more than background music. The mysterious woman on the cover is both intriguing and enticing - I wouldn't go as far as to say that's why I bought this record. It may have been a contributing factor though.

A Girl called Houdini is the b-side of this single. It's starts with some feedback over a gentley strummed guitar. I'm nodding along thinking that at any moment this is going to rock out big time. It never quites get there - although it doesn't lose momentum in doing so. It is harder and rockier than Lorelei, and is probably better than the a-side. There's some very nice keyboard work, and the vocals really suit the song, especially in the chorus. I just get the feeling that it never quite delivers what it is promising.

Good enough, then, but could do better.

Next time we've got something that maybe ambient dance...

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