Those Minor Characters release the EP they’ve always hinted at!
Those Minor Characters have come a long way in a pretty short period of time. It feels like only yesterday they released their debut release First. Their follow up The Building Next to Global Headquarters showed a progression of their sound. Now, with their third release Aside/Beside, Those Minor Characters have come up with a selection of songs that not only equal their previous releases, they eclipse them!
Opening track gets things going in fine form. Sounding like Belle and Sebastian doing a mash up of Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild and the Kinks-Days it delivers a jolt of jangly pop but with a hefty dollop of pathos. Basically it’s bouncy and fun. Weather King hints at the Last Shadow Puppets covering the Moody Blues or the Pretty Things. It broodily delivers swaths of guitars and keyboards, but with a cocky swagger that belies XXX. The Reggie Perrin lyric says more than it lets on! Are Those Minor Characters hinting at how they’ll call it a day or is it a metaphor for this current version of society?
Advice is the most aggressive track on the EP. So far the first two tracks have been lyric/story based, but Advice is just an excuse to make fuzzy noise and let rip. It’s prog flourishes really help cement this in your psyche. (She Bring) Winter With Her closes the EP with strains of Simon and Garfunkle at their melancholy best, even if a few passages sound like the Fratellis…
Throughout Aside/Beside the sound of 60’s bubblegum pop permeates. It’s refreshing, not just because it sounds catchy and addictive, but because Those Minor Characters aren’t giving us a sound that really never existed, but re-interrupting their communal loves, but more of a musical bricolage. Aside/Beside sounds far richer deeper than their previous releases and Martin Ruddock finally sounds comfortable in his role of front man. His vocals are filled with an emotion that hints as much at experience as it does with maturity. Rumour has it this is their final release. Part of me doesn’t want this to happen as they’ve hinted at glorious future releases, but if this is their final release, they’ve ended on a high note.