Thursday, 11 June 2015

7 Inch Singles Collection: Castanarc - This Island Love

Another obscure one...


A-Side: This Island Love

B-Side: Heroes

(Pyramid 1989)          

Well here's another one - a record that I know nothing about and can't remember what it sounds like. This one was definitely bought very cheap somewhere because someone has taken a hole punch to the sleeve (I've done a digital repair on my scan - so much for authenticity, eh?) I almost certainly bought it because of that slightly defaced sleeve. The shade of green is pleasing to the eye, and the picture is intriguing. I enjoy the way the bands name interleaves with picture and also the typography of it. These are probably not usual, and possibly not entirely valid reasons for buying a record - but it adds a bit of chance and risk to the whole listening process.

Before settling down to listen to this I was absolutely certain that I didn't like it that much and it was piano-pounding piece of House. It turns out that the memory cheats because This Island Love isn't remotely like that at all. Instead there's a slow soft sax start, it has hints of soul - but very much blue-eyed soul as the singer sounds very English and very white. It's quite light and poppy the pace picks up a bit in the chorus. It is a largely unremarkable love song. Only distinguished by the saxophone and something that sounds like a clarinet or at least a synthesizer pretending to be a clarinet at the end. I was right about one thing though - I don't like This Island Love very much.

A quick look at the credits on the b-side lets me know that this isn't a cover version of the Bowie song Heroes, but is an original piece. I'm not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed. This has a rocky upbeat start - it's all drum machines and stabby keyboards - it's like on of those very earnest 80's AOR bands with big perms. Lots of synths being pressed into the service of rock when maybe they could be creating something more original. It doesn't really have any hooks or catches, or indeed anything mush to grab hold of. It's different to the a-side, but in now way is it better than the a-side.

I feel that this was a triumph of packing over content. It still looks nice, and it still sounds poor.

Next time four lads from Liverpool...     

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