The Pooches Deliver Bright, Fun Indie Pop from Scotland

10 Nov

Scotland is known for its great bands in a variety of genres. That includes indie pop-rock legends such as Belle & Sebastian, as well as Chvrches, Camera Obscura, The Fratellis, Teenage Fanclub, and many more. Now, you can add The Pooches to that list.

Earlier this year, I blogged about the band when the group released its Heart Attack EP. Now, the boys have a full self-titled album, anchored by the very catchy “Heart Attack” track.

The Pooches were initially a solo project of frontman, guitarist and songwriter, Jimmy Hindle. He released two albums under the Pooches moniker in 2013 and 2015.

But in 2016, he added band members Gavin on bass, Calvin on drums and Andy on guitar — and The Pooches is the group’s first full-length release.

The Pooches’ sound is Brit-pop with some punky trimmings. If you’re familiar with classic rock from the 1960s — when the original “British invasion” of the American music scene occurred — there’s an eerie similarity to some of those bands, such as Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Yardbirds, Gerry & the Pacemakers, and many others. All of the songs on this album feature jangly guitars, catchy melodies and warm vocals — again, with just an edge of punk to them.

The lyrics are fresh, simple and honest — often with a touch of humor. For example, one of Jimmy’s early EPs was How to Fix a Broken Hearth, a clear riff on the Bee Gees song “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?”

And the tracks are almost all short — with only two songs at 3 minutes or over, and the shortest one being just 37 seconds!

“Heart Attack,” which opens the 11-song set, remains the best of the bunch. It’s sunny, bouncy and slightly jangly — with a few handclaps and great hooks throughout. The lyrics mention “reading all about the first Heart Attack single,” which is a reference to the song by the hardcore punk band from NYC that was popular from about 1978-1984.

“I’ll Be Gone” features a strumming guitar and snapping snare drum. The vocals in the chorus are pleasantly harmonized. Track 5, “The Light,” delivers a simple melody with a nice backbeat. “Everything” is more of a mid-tempo number with great lyrics, “I don’t want to be the kind of boy who thinks that everything is about him/I don’t want to be the kind of boy who thinks that every song’s written about them.” Each verse opens with a very catchy descending run of notes. Again — simple, but very compelling pop.

This continues throughout the set, including Track 9, “Be Not Fearful,” a lightly skipping tune with an uplifting message delivered against a bright strumming composition.

If you enjoy quality, fun pop, check out The Pooches.

 

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