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Melys - Suikerspin

  by Geraint Jones

published: 13 / 3 / 2002

Melys - Suikerspin
Label: Transformed Dreams
Format: CD


Retrospective album from resilient Welsh group and John peel favourites Melys whose "engaging hybrid of guitar pop and electronica" is "akin to a head on collision between Altered Images and Curve"

Since forming in the North Wales town of Betws-y-Coed in the mid-90s, Melys have been doggedly ploughing away, encountering occasional pitfalls en route, such as the collapse of Arctic Records in 1998 with whom the band were signed at the time. Undoubtedly a major blow, the label had released the band's debut album and a string of acclaimed EP’s. Melys were, however, undaunted and rose to the challenge by setting up their own Sylem Records imprint. This determined resilience combined to their already acknowledged artistic endeavour, loosely an engaging hybrid of guitar pop and electronica somewhat akin to a head on collision between Altered Images and Curve, has seen the band championed by John Peel for who they have recorded no less than six sessions. His long-term patronage paid prestigious dividends last year when the title track of Melys’ most recent EP ‘Chinese Whispers’ was voted No. 1 by listeners to John Peel’s show in the long standing Festive 50 end of year poll. Following a number of singles, EPs and two albums, ‘Suikerspin’ is the result of a recent joint venture between Melys’ own Sylem Records and the Dutch label Transformed Dreams. Combining a selection of tracks from the aforementioned releases ‘Suikerspin’ is no doubt an effort to spread Melys appeal throughout Europe. Sadly, I presume due to contractual wrangles, there is nothing from the period when the band were signed to Arctic Records, but recent converts should still be pleased at the inclusion of both ‘Cuckoo’ and ‘Puppet’ from two long out of print EPs the band also recorded for the Ankst label. It’s not hard to deduce that ‘Suikerspin’ translates to ‘candy floss’ in English. There’s an undeniably sweet quality to Melys music mostly courtesy of Andrea Parker’s “butter wouldn’t melt” vocals, but there is an equally compelling contrast to be found in the darker electronica-flecked arrangements. The album closes on a peak with ‘Maen Amser I Newid’, the only track on the album sung entirely in the band’s native Welsh language. Unfortunately I’m not a Welsh speaker, although I can cope reasonably well with the pronunciation, but I think the title has something to do with time. I’d suggest setting a little of it aside for a rewarding encounter with ’Suikerspin’.

Track Listing:-
1 Disco Pig
2 You Should Have Been There
3 I Don't Believe In You
4 Chinese Whispers
5 Baby Tornado
6 Un Darllenwr Iwcus
7 Cuckoo
8 Puppet
9 Porn Myself
10 All Played Out
11 Maen Amser I Newid

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