The Dancers - The Box

The Dancers – The Box (Veniceisdead Records)

I might be getting older than I’d like to be but I still do a little jig when I get sent music for free and that jig turns in to full blown riverdance when I receive entirely unexpected white 7” singles from Italy through my humble letterbox. Indeed, when the Dancers new single appeared I momentarily became the lord of the dance as I beheld its beauty and then the fear struck. The fear of “what if it doesn’t sound as good as it looks?”. You know the feeling, like walking through a crowded party with your eyes locked on the most beautiful girl in the room only to realise when you get to her that she has a voice like Barry White with a phlegm problem. So, I procrastinated and found other things to do until all that was left was to drop the needle and cross my fingers...
                Instantly, I am engulfed with relief as the vibrant and frenetic opener, ‘The Box’, kicks in and immediately you know this song won’t be around for long. ‘TheBox’ has the urgency of someone trying to get across a life-or-death message on a payphone when you only have 10p left (anyone under 30, ask your parents) but the melody to go with it. Instantly I am transported to the golden days of raw, British punk where that freshness and innocence mixed with energy, frustration and desperation. This is followed up by the slightly more relaxed ‘Heaven Is OK’ which, apart from the slightly indifferent sentiment, is chunky slice of scuzzy, pop-punk that sounds like it’s been recorded in a basement at three in the morning on the cheapest of equipment. In reality, it’s been recorded on reel-to-reel and, as the sleeve proudly announces, no computers were used in the writing, recording, mixing or mastering of this record.
                Flipping the record to the B-side and you get the Lemonheads inspired lilting indie-pop of ‘It’s Because Of You’ that wouldn’t sound out of place in any Friday night Indie club amidst a sea of swaying arms and tousled hair. The final track of these 4 sub-three minuters is the frankly bonkers ‘Dance When You’re Dead’ complete with key changes, tempo changes and a range of influences that stretch from early Beatles through the Wannadies until winding up at a the door of the Black Keys. All in all, this record wasn’t what I was expecting when I looked at it but that is no bad thing. To return to the beautiful girl at the party, it turns out she has broad Welsh accent and a slight lisp – both things that I find inexplicably endearing. Go figure.

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