The Hidden Cameras - The Smell Of Our Own

Bill Cummings 28/06/2006

Rating: 4/5

Imagine a sound that encompasses the harmonies of Belle and Sebastian, with the folksy angular nature of early REM to words that detail gay love rituals, and your somewhere to envisaging the scope and glorious majesty of the beat troupe "the Hidden Camera's."

This record is littered with glorious melodies (supplied by singer and lyricist Joel Gibb) from the Smiths a like rhythm and beauty of the excellent first single "Ban Marriage." To the poignant "A Miracle" with the background music of a gentle guitar shimmy melded to empathetic repeated refrains of "in my head you are suffering." Elsewhere the beach boys are brought to mind along with the early building melodies of REM on "animals of prey" and the chanting beauty of "Smells like happiness."

At times the hidden camera's do tell us rather a little to much about their gay sex habits on tracks like "Breath on it." when elsewhere gay love is handled with a human and personal heart on "The man that I am with my man." These are minor drawbacks because with music this good who cares? The Hidden Camera's manage to bring to mind the best of American melodic rhythms and glorious emotional rush melding this to the self reflective emotion of British independent scene, plus well frankly they piss all over the polyphonic spree.