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DROPKICK – Turning Circles (CD, Taylored Records)

Posted: May 16th, 2007, by Mandy Williams

Turning Circles is the 5th album from Scottish four-piece Dropkick. Power-pop meets alt. Country with chiming, Byrds-esque guitars and harmonic vocals. They tell everyday tales of washing up, hairs growing from nipples, getting the bus to Aberdeen or falling asleep with the TV on.

Only For Yourself is a fabulous opener, lovely building melodies reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub. The hooky refrain is “Take a walk to clear your head, from hearing over what you said. Time would make you justify and if only for yourself you question why.” Give It Back has a rockier reverberating guitar resonance. It’s a “crash crash crashing sound.”

For me the stand out track is Avenues, a classic ballad. It possesses a beautiful acoustic guitar intro. “In the summertime people cut their hair and I don’t mind if I go to the chair,” their singer Roy W. Taylor intones in part Dunedin drawl, part mid-Western lilt. It builds while retaining the delicious melody. A thoroughly memorable tale of a city that warrants repeat playing immediately it’s finished.

In Rewind there is a melodic Here Comes the Sun harmony. To Get To You quite simply gets under your skin. The banjo twanging, rockier edged Lobster exhibits their comedic side. You have to love a band that manages to mention scampi and slippers in the same song!

In Wont be There and Wouldn’t Hurt To Wait low-key lilting harmonies are slipped in between the solid power pop riffs. Black book is a standout track from which comes the lyric “Why do you keep the black book with the hidden horrors and the hated of love life and level thinkers. The motherfuckers and the stinkers.” The closer Say Nothing features low key strumming that ascends in layers with a strong defining vocal.

The album lilts along beautifully, mellower tracks feeding their more powerful cousins. You never tire of Dropkick’s arrangements, Laurel Canyon loveliness. They produce an additional twist from somewhere just when you least expect it with their banjos and lap steels. They push the alt. country genre through the mangle, together with folksy quirkiness and amusing indie pop, to produce their own brand of Caledonian Californication.


Mandy Williams


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