The Sequins - The Death Of Style

Matt Clutton 04/01/2008

Rating: 3/5

The charts are currently awash with an inventive crowd of indie pop bands all trying to grasp a share of the public's ever-increasing taste for a genre deeply rooted in the sounds of Sixties pop, jangling guitars enshrouded in innocence. Whilst bands like The Go! Team have adopted a trait of supplying action-themed songs seemingly mixed with cheerleader chants and others like The Hoosiers have slapped a twee, comical edge on the genre with their upbeat and oddball vocal/ instrumentation combination, the technically proficient Sequins have arrived with the gift of sheer inventiveness.

'The Death Of Style', the band's debut album, arrives on the back of some two hundred gigs the band have played since forming in preparation for a hectic 2008. Released on Tough Love Records the album has a serious streak to it but at its heart is a warm collection of tracks that promise longevity with shades of quirkiness.

From the outset and lead track 'Catholic Guilt' the sounds of '60s beat-pop are prominent. A galloping drum set courtesy of Brendan Casey opens with an ever-expanding bass and rhythm guitar accompaniment that reaches it peak in what is one of the catchiest choruses you will have heard all year. Hywel Roberts's vocals remain steady throughout despite the demands placed upon them by the track's ups and downs and with a sound reminiscent of a mix between Dexy's front man Kevin Rowland and Scouting For Girls lead vocalist Roy Stride, the maverick spirit of post-punk eccentricity seems to be encapsulated.

As the album rolls on the faultless instrumentation ensues, 'Tree Houses' with its melancholic melody has the feel of a Smiths chart topper appreciatively accompanied with what seems to be a little Jack Penate on lead guitar. 'Everyone Loves The Sequins', a reassuring ego trip for the band marks the arrival of a spell of tracks with all the explosive punk/ '60s soul/ ska mix of recent new comers The Rumble Strips. Following this and track 'The Usual Delights' however there's a feeling that they're running out of ideas and the album plays out with a series of tracks which yield little variation or mass appeal.

The band's sound is great and shows a real energy but with little variation and a physical CD that showers the recipient in actual sequins (worth the money alone imo - Ed) it's difficult to retain the enthusiasm and interest past the album's first half a dozen songs.

Released 29th January 2008