Album Review: Screaming Maldini – Screaming Maldini

Sheffield six-piece Screaming Maldini release album, an incredibly catchy prog-pop collection of songs, cue Jim F fauning almost uncontrollably

I’ve been waiting for this. If there were ever a band bringing a dash of colour to the rather pastel shades that pop is painted in at the moment, its Screaming Maldini. The Sheffield six piece’s début album shows that though they might be from a provincial city, but they can mix it with the very best. and the reason for that is they are able to make songs with quirky rhythms and time signatures, and sugar-coat them with charming, catchy and summery hooks. It makes for a deliciously addictive set of songs.

The band have taken their time too, spending the last two years mining twelve little gems. Most of it (ten of the twelve) have appeared in one way or another before, but now, re-recorded with added sheen and confidence, the album fizzes with excitement and ambition.

This ambition is evident from the very start, opening track ‘The Awakening’ (how apt) powers through in 7/4, propelled by the drums of Tim Walker, a feature throughout, with Nick Cox and Gina Walters immediately trading verses, before the whole thing climaxes with trademark harmonies and kitchen sink arrangement. It’s breathless and brilliant. Elsewhere we have more seven time (life in glorious stereo, the silver mountain), more interesting instrumental arrangements, and more unexpected twists and turns,  both melodically and harmonically, that give it an immediacy and freshness that I honestly can’t remember from a pop record for a long time.

There are many magical moments during the album, whether it be the harmony laden Life in Glorious stereo, through the beautifully captivating ‘I Know That You Know That I Would Wipe Away the Snowflake From Your Eye’, and ‘The Albatross’ right the way through to the joyful finisher ‘Four Hours from now’. But it’s the single that brought them to a wider attention ‘Summer Somewhere’ that shines, Gina Walters vocal seducing the listener over a perfect pop gem. Its thrilling stuff.

If this is Screaming Maldini’s creative output for a debut album, I can’t wait for the next one. And the one after that. And the one after….

Screaming Maldini – Life in Glorious Stereo

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