Whenever a release from The Control Group label arrives, it is like dropping a piece of meat in the lion cage at the zoo. The lads over there have a mighty good ear, guaranteeing that whatever they send is always worth a listen. We all scrambled to claim the CD, this time being the upcoming new album from the Danish indie popsters Figurines. The band's third effort, When The Deer Wore Blue, expands on their love of the '60s sounds of the Beach Boys and The Who.
A few select publications have shat a bit on the album, so we're now here to set the record straight. If you're looking for a deep, introspective album that requires fifty listens to just crack its surface, this might not be for you. If you're looking for a great pop album, covering influences ranging from Built To Spill to The Zombies, When The Deer Wore Blue is going to knock your socks off.
One thing that always amuses me about Figurines is that although they're Danish, you'd never guess it. These fellas sound like they grew up on our shores, soaking in plenty of rays while living on the west coast. Another Tripwire favorite, Mew, are Danish as well... and their distinctive sound is more of what we think of, which Figurines are just about the total opposite.
The opening chords of "Childhood Verse" almost sound like The Coral, with a creepy organ lick that leads to a fantastic pop chorus. It has elements of The Zutons "zombie-soul" meshed with Beach Boys melodies, two odd sounds that just happen to work perfectly together. This takes us to "The Air We Breathe," where frontman Christian Hjelm's falsetto vocals take on a Brian Wilson meets James Walsh vibe. His warbled wails in his upper register almost remind me of Jeremy Enigk at times, but with hints of doo wop.
Their Built To Spill influences return on "Hey, Girl," a catchy slice of indie pop that features one of those melodies that easily gets stuck in your head. The same goes for "Bee Dee," bringing back the creepy circus organ and fantastic vocal harmonies. Although summer may be winding down, Figurines' When The Deer Wore Blue will help extend our days of sunshine and warmth for a while longer.