Envelopes - Here Comes The Wind
Matt Harrold 22/03/2008
Heave, ho and a bottle of rum, 'Here Comes The Wind' me harties (Stop with the pirate impression - Ed) by those continetal land lubbers 'the Envelopes (I mean it!- Ed). Ahem, charting the stormy waters of long distant collaborations suited The Envelopes a treat on their initial debut 'Demon' and three years later we have yet more post-punk pop joy to contend with. Gathered together and pushed off one by one onto the open waters of the music scene we're treated to sumptuous angular guitars sharp enough to shave on, and schizoid song writing that manages to both be extrovert yet introvert at the same time.
Mostly that seems to be coming from the need to 'experiment'. Hey, experimentation is a good thing, without it bands like Radiohead wouldn't be pushing the envelope and opening up avenues for other bands to follow in their wake. Problem being that Envelopes seem to be striving for some shared identity over the distance. Yes 'I'd Like To C U' is a slice of pop song heaven whilst 'Life On The Beach' shimmers with B-52's style pop quirkeness, but there's also the “We're trying to very, very hard to be different and quirky, but we've forgotten how to make a solid tune doing so” syndrome.
"Smoke On The Water, Eating The Sand, Hide The Grass" jumps for the quirky party ship, misses it by two years, and promptly falls into the water to paddle around in little lost circles. Whilst the ironic-use-of-someone-elses-lyrics meter jumps up to 11 (out of 10) for including Bonnie Tyler as an influence on the lyrics. "Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart, totally fucked from the start" might make you grin for a few seconds until you remember how appalling the original song is, and that's without being reminded of atrocity of a music video that went with it. It's vocal juxtaposition of angst and cheeriness is as about as comfy as riding bareback on a bed of nails.
What's missing is the feeling of spontaneity of 'Demons', and the the feelings that the gears will come flying off any minute now. Instead we're left with an album that's still trying to work out what the hell it's trying to be, sitting there, scratching it's head before folding it's arms to think for just a little longer. It's the sound ideas being watered down by a hundred emails flying back and forth arguing over which ideas to use and which to keep, which sadly has sapped away part of it's charm and strength to leave a very average affair with flashes of genius.
Release Date: 18./02/08