Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade

1985; 11 tracks

This is Strawberry Switchlade's first album, and it is fucking glorious. The duo, consisting of the infamous Rose McDowall (Current 93, Coil, Sorrow, Spell...) and Jill Bryson, create an interesting blend of post-punk, pop, and gothic/dream-pop. Their music is cute, yet sophisticated, and I really can't imagine a more amazing pop album from the 80s than this.

The two gaudily clad ladies with straw flowers in their hair, Jill Bryson and Rose McDowall, are enlivening a pop scene, eternally geared toward the exotic, with a sunny Coup d'Esprit: colourful, breezy, funny, charming are the adjectives that flow around the heads of listeners when they play the first Strawberry Switchblade album.

Jill & Rose come from Glasgow and answer to the fairy-tale name of Strawberry Switchblade. Bright and unprejudiced, they twitter with their harmonic beat like butterflies over a meadow; and in doing so, touch not only on the fresh harmonies of the 60's (Mamas & Papas) but also on the insouciant, sparsely-instrumented music of early Velvet Underground.

The songs on
Strawberry Switchblade bloom melodically, cheekily, childishly, and rampant on the pulsating field of a complex beat instrumentation, whereby melancholy ballads in orotund pop clothing (with strings and oboes) alternate with quicker dance numbers (in the style of their hit 'Since Yesterday'). The singing stems from the tradition of the beat-girl groups (Shangri-Las), charged with a shot of pop shock à la B52s. Light pop music for a nightly stroll over fragrant asphalt.

Another day...


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