Highlights: Grangemouth At The Dawn, Chatelherault
There’s always been something about Scotland (primarily Glasgow) and melody that just clicks. Something Rotten, a new split EP from Scottish indie underground, is case in point. What we have here is a collaboration between singer-songwriter Callum Baird and a band called GUMS! (whose previous EP, Antipathy, was brilliant; read the review here).
The two parts blend together quite well, though I generally prefer GUMS! They have it where Callum Baird has a nice tune. So whereas “Me Plus You” is decent indie with no balls, “Bonfire” has that nervy quality that gives its melodies a stronger edge. The title track sounds like a centrepiece, emotional and anthemic. However, lovely piano and backing vocals notwithstanding, this smacks too much of about a million Glaswegian pubs where I could have heard something similar. Has style but lacks class. “Grangemouth At The Dawn” is again GUMS! at their tuneful best. Callum’s catchy and lilting “Haunted House” is his strongest offering. Finally, “Chatelherault” is darker GUMS! The sort of song that knows it’s good and exploits that confidence to the full.
That’s a 6 for Callum Baird and an 8 for GUMS! 7 overall. Good songwriting all the way through, with songs chockfull of well-written, instantly memorable melodies. This is where the promise and potential should give way to popularity and full-length albums. In an ideal world.