The Bellamys, S/T EP (Odd Box Records)
With their self-titled EP, Cardiff trio The Bellamys (though one member now resides in Vancouver), have crafted an indie pop winner. Opener, “Motorway”, sets the tone nicely – chiming guitars cling and clang over an urgent drum beat and synthesizer that sounds a bit like the droning of a hurdy gurdy, as boy-girl harmonies and counter-melodies delve into the delights of well, driving. Apex, “Best Friend”’s punk jangle underpins a wistful diary entry describing a would-be companion (“but you don’t notice me/you look right through/me/you think you are so cool/that’s cause you are”). Closing ballad, “For You to See” conjures Super 8 quick-cut images and is quietly affecting without going full twee. An absence of artifice makes this a charming, hand-hold of a listen; like having a conversation with an old friend over a beer – hopes, dreams; weighty stuff made to feel less onerous.
That press release accompanying the digital recommends the EP for fans of The Pastels, C86, Tellulah Gosh (I’d add The Vaselines and Thee Headcoats) and, erm, Slayer. Sly, and (very) thinly veiled Haunting the Chapel references notwithstanding, this is a damn fine, lo-fi indie pop record. Get on it.
Odd Box Records (which, with a roster boasting such artists as City Yelps, The Manhattan Love Suicides, T.O.Y.S., and Nervous Twitch, has quickly become one of my favorite labels over the past few years of doing this) will release the EP on December 2. Here’s hoping The Bellamys continue doing their thang, in spite of the geographic separation. Check more on the band on fbook and delve into their earlier catalogue (the demo from February is also great – paricularly, “it’ll be ok”) on Bandcamp.