I'm often mistaken for someone well-known.
Admittedly, the "someone" in question has normally recently appeared in a still from a grainy CCTV tape being shown on some public service crime-busting television show and, yes, the person doing the mistaking (is that a word? It is now) is usually a member of Her Majesty's Constabulary as he/she has me shoved face first against a wall with a baton against my lower spine during the busy part of the afternoon in town...but hey, the attention is nice and it's a way of meeting new people.
I find that just as I'm being strung up from the nearest lamp-post to sway gently in the breeze a la Benito Mussolini, some enlightened soul usually informs the rabid crowd that they may have the wrong man, and I'm cut down rather unceremoniously and allowed to go about my business.
Which brings me to Drowned In A Sea Of Sound, the debut album from New York band The Daysleepers.
The overall sound is big and spacey and the reverb-swamped, multi-chorused guitar music is catchy – the opening track Release The Kraken had me muttering "Yes, I like this", with its dark, melancholy tones and the "male and female vocals singing an octave apart" technique which normally irritates me, but seems to work in this instance.
As with most reviews and reviewers, I always strive to seek an artist with which to draw even a slight comparison to the one I'm describing so that you, my dear punter, will be better prepared when it comes down to making the choice between parting with your hard-earned cash or not. Oft times, it's something of a stretch, with the closest likeness being a vibe or a feel or an atmosphere, more than a style or sound.
In the case of The Daysleepers, though, I'm somewhat spoilt for choice.
Don't get me wrong, I really like this album – it's very pleasant, even if lacking in memorable songs. But it's easy to tell what the influences are here. Not that anything is plagiarised, but on more than one occasion (the third song in, Distant Creatures, for instance), my first thought was "Wow, this sounds like
Cocteau Twins" as the Robin Guthrie-esque guitar, Simon Raymonde-esque bass and general CT-ish vibe poured out of the speakers. Even more so with later offering Lovesparkles, the opening bars of which could have come directly from Cocteau Twins' Heaven Or Las Vegas album.
The same direct comparison with Cocteau Twins is evident on the following track Summerdreamer – it could have co-existed quite happily on the Twins' Milk And Kisses album.
I also hear heavy shades of Black Metallic-era Catherine Wheel, especially in the male vocal (although the vocal is a little smoother than the latter's) on the song The Secret Place. Overtones of Slowdive, the first Lush album Spooky (another Guthrie creation) and even polite nods towards Paper Tiger by The Caesars and Can You Dig It? by one-hit wonders The Mock Turtles abound.
This is all no bad thing – as I said before, there is no plagiarism at work here...but, by the same token, there's nothing I haven't heard before, either. I do feel that The Daysleepers have allowed their sources of inspiration (as fine and wonderful as they all are) to invade and occupy their output just a little too much. There's no great sense of the band using the aforementioned influences as a fuel to propel the good ship Daysleepers on from the traditional shoegazer/dreampop oeuvre into newer, more individual waters.
I'm looking forward to the second album – I have the distinct feeling that, by then, the band will have evolved away from their reliance on the sound of others and into a groove of their own. They're certainly capable and talented enough to do so.
I must away, as there seems to be a large crowd of people at the gates of Lawton Towers, ropes in hand and eager to have a "talk" with me about my role in the repeal of The Corn Laws.