Beer In The Breakers
If you've been missing The Wave Pictures since 2009 then...you should go and buy all this other stuff they've done in the interim. However, if you were only to follow their Moshi Moshi releases then Beer In The Breakers would be the follow up to 2009's brilliant but maudlin If You Leave It Alone and from the outset it hits you with an effervescence which was largely absent on their previous effort (just go ahead and compare the aforementioned album's opener which the almost-summertime number you get here). The band have also continued to develop technically without losing any of that DIY subtlety which defines their sound (take David Tattersall's guitar solo on "Now Your Smile Comes Over In Your Voice" or the fast and crisp introduction on the sparkling single "Little Surprise", both of which you suspect would only really work with such a well honed three-piece). On "Walk The Back Stairs Quiet", despite another masterful guitar performance from Tattersall, it's Jonny Helm's fine-spun drumming and Franic Rozycki's meandering bass which really take the band into new levels of astonishing artistic maturity (if you liked Happy For A While then you will love this track). As the record progresses it becomes apparent that some of the eccentric hooks which may have drawn you to the band in the first place have been toned down in favour of a more thoughtful approach which still allows the odd trademark lick or lyric (e.g. "You said you wanted a white wine in red wine weather"). At the end of the day though, all that really matters is that three old mates have come together and recorded not only their best album to-date, but also one of the best albums of the year so far.