Track by track review of the new CD ‘Wooden Shirts’ by Cambridge Indie band The Centimes.
1. Wooden Shirts. A lively opener, setting the template of 12-string guitar, driving drums and solid bass. Some acapella vocals and harmonies add extra gloss to the mix.
2. Local Pool. Previously a single, a driving rhythm behind a full sound and strong vocal, the much repeated line ‘the party’s over, find another party’ indicating fruitless Saturday night wanderings or maybe a bigger metaphor.
3. I’m Fine. Coupled with Local Pool on the single release, a sparse but well-balanced and rather lovely song with a Velvet Underground first album feel. The sort of song to be playing in your head when you wave goodbye at the railway station after a weekend that didn’t go that well, perhaps with some regrets but ultimately tinged with optimism.
4. Locked Out. A moody echoing guitar figure slowly starts, then goes into another up tempo track. Lots going on behind the lead vocal, even a bit of synthesiser.
5. Billy. A change of direction into an American blues rock sound, heavier guitar and rolling bassline, smoky voice on the verse then blistering chorus that leaves no doubt that Billy is ‘the only one’.
6. La La Land. The guitar goes into full jangly mode, developing into a Chic style rhythm over steady drumming on one of the more musically changeable tracks on the album.
7. Stormy Tuesday. The musical centrepiece of the album, a long instrumental introduction, a pounding bass gathering storm, thunder and lightning on the drums and guitar eventually resolving into chords, then the voices blend well together for a lyric of threatening weather nightmare….play this one loud.
8. I Don’t See It Anymore. A slightly heavier track, each lyric line answered by the title phrase. A bit of keyboard and a guitar solo add to the atmosphere.
9. Little Table. Like a track from the first Orange Juice album the echoing 12-string skates on top of the bass and solid drum beat, then a tale of relationship aftermath unfolds with a strong optimistic chorus.
10. Spider. Often the first song of the live set, this is a confident but subtle mid-tempo closer to the album. An end of summer mood, beginning with a slow chiming picked chord, answered by a delicate descending bass run and some non-drums percussion and gentle vocal. The song keeps building, by the end we have strings and synthesisers and as the last chord fades away we are very glad we have shared 40 minutes with The Centimes, it is an impressive debut album.