# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Experimental Pop Band - Vertigo

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 20 / 4 / 2012

Experimental Pop Band - Vertigo
Label: Wear It Well Records
Format: CD


Stunning first album in five years from undervalued Bristol-based indie pop act, the Experimental Pop Band

Nearly five years after their previous album, the largely and unjustly ignored 'Tinsel Stars', Bristol's the Experimental Pop Band return with a stunning new fourteen tracker and arguably the finest release of their seventeen year career, in the shape of 'Vertigo'. Having agonized over the final track listing from a batch of nearly thirtysongs, songwriter and front man, Davey Woodward (who first came to indie-pop fame in his 1980's combo the Brilliant Corners) decided, in a respectful nod to nostalgia, to split the CD into two 'sides' with the rockier, guitar driven numbers making up side one and the generally keys based songs contributing to a more laid-back side two. Either 'side' could easily have been a fine EP in its own right, but together they make an almost greatest hits type package. 'Side 1' opens with the nearly metal snarl of 'Dodo', before current single 'Little Things' with its Buzzcock guitars and clever lyrical take on depression steers the band back towards their pop roots. Both 'Ventouse Sucks' and 'Transit Van Superstar' have a glam rock tinge, the latter being possible future single material save for a rare Woodward lyrical faux-pas in the shape of the "Transit van superstardom/The only way to get your hard on" coupling that makes up the chorus. 'Second Best' quickly worms its way into the brain with the hypnotic keyboard sound that imitates a wood pigeon cooing to great effect before the cinematic and breathtaking 'Outside' proves to be a euphoric slow burner that could easily be the kind of song played at the end of some apocalyptic movie as the last few survivors emerge from the dark into the light. Starting in the same musical vein as forgotten Brilliant Corners B-side, 'The Ghost of a Young Man', and telling the story of a man (Woodward, perhaps?) now blissfully happy with his lot after many years of playing the field, the final song on the first ‘side’ is 'Zed Alley'. It's a winning combination of guitar and Joe Rooney’s swirling keyboard, and the kind of song the newly reformed Blur could only dream of writing. 'Side 2' highlights a different side to the band, with the brass enhanced spaghetti western shuffle of 'The Girls with Back Combed Hair' surely being an autobiographical tale of Woodward's first forays into the world of music when fronting the Hybrids. It’s a corker, as is the instantly catchy 'Bowling' which charts a whole host of social unrest, prophetically being written well before the riots that gripped England last summer. 'Can You Feel The Heat?'meanwhile could be Jonathan Richman at his playful best. The title track and 'Soapstar' are both downbeat affairs that take a few well rewarded listens to make their mark, but "The Girl Wants the Boy the Boy Wants the Girl' is more easily accessible as Woodward updates the lyrical theme of The Smiths' 'Girl Afraid' over simple piano and trumpet orchestration. The closing song, 'O.K.', despite being a jaunty little number, is possibly the most throwaway song on the CD, though it is only a minor blemish on an otherwise fantastic offering from a great band. 'Vertigo' may have been five years in the making, but some things really are worth the wait even for those without a head for heights!

Track Listing:-
1 Dodo
2 Little Things
3 Ventouse Sucks
4 Transit Van Superstar
5 Second Best
6 Outside
7 Zed Alley
8 The Girls With Back Combed Hair
9 Bowling
10 Can You Feel The Heat
11 Vertigo
12 Soapstar
13 The Girl Wants The Boy, The Boy Wants the Girl
14 O.K.

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


Interview (2011)
Experimental Pop Band - Interview
Davey Woodward from the Experimental Pop Band speaks to Dixie Ernill about his group's appearance and his own solo set at the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night in Manchester on November 19th and their forthcoming new album which is due out next year

live reviews

El Rincon, Bristol, 12/11/2012
Experimental Pop Band - El Rincon, Bristol, 12/11/2012
Dixie Ernill sees the Experimental Pop Band play an excellent set of indie pop in the tiny venue of the El Rincon in their native Bristol
229 Venue, London, 29/3/2012
Brooksbottom Cricket Club, Summerseat, Bury, 21/3/2009
Summerseat, Bury, 19/5/2006
Magnet Club, Berlin, 23/3/2004


Summerseat, Bury, 20/3/2009 (2009)
Experimental Pop Band - Summerseat, Bury, 20/3/2009
Pennyblackmusic writer Dixie Ernill is putting on for the second time his own gig in Bury near Manchester with Bristol indiepop group, Experimental Pop Band. More details for what promises to be a truly great night can be found here

digital downloads



Little Things (2012)
Wonderfully downbeat latest single from durable, but overlooked Bristol-based indie pop group the Experimental Pop Band
Tarmac And Flames (2004)

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

related articles

Davey Woodward: Interview (2020
Davey Woodward - Interview
The Brilliant Corners and the Experimental Pop Band's Davey Woodward talks to Dixie Ernill about 'Love and Optimism', his second album under the moniker of Davey Woodward and The Winter Orphans.
Karen: Live Review (2016)

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors