I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there’s a certain amount of indie guitar rock on our blog. Toby, David, Sam and Matthew make up The Watermelons and hail from Brighton, which is a long way from my favourite indie city of the last two months, Portland, Oregon.
Still, it’s a well-established-indie-pedigree town and I can’t afford to get blinkered to US-only metros, especially since (STARTLING ADMISSION KLAXON) I’ve never even been to the States. Taking a more domestic interest, then, The Watermelons (stated band interests: Fifa. Do they really mean the organisation ? I mean, it’s perfectly possible that their record on tackling racism and corruption does occupy this band’s thoughts, there is plenty there to discuss. But perhaps it’s gaming, after all…) got in touch and as a result I’m sat at the kitchen table watching the video for “Dance Strange Together”.
It’s likeable; I wouldn’t turn the radio off because this came on. There’s pleasing interplay between the two guitars and some enjoyable work by the lead in-between verses. Just when I was beginning to wonder that maybe it was a bit one-paced the drummer slips in a couple of breaks and the bassist throws up some variations. There’s something compelling about the singer as he launches into the chorus but it also seems just that touch unhinged, although given the subject matter – our jilted, betrayed narrator – that’s probably apt enough.
All of these elements have kept me watching and they’re enough for me to keep a Mafia weather-eye on the Watermelons. On this individual track however there are two things that stop it going beyond that: first, what should be the heavier sections between verses never really take off – yes, everybody’s strumming but I don’t really feel the weight of the playing; second, in those sections the lead guitar gets lost – where it is given space to flit around the rhythm guitar everything is dandy but when the group comes together the politeness of its volume and its relative height up the scale stymie the emotional punch in the music, no matter the power in the lyrics.