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Organ - Memorize The City

  by John Clarkson

published: 29 / 8 / 2005

Organ - Memorize The City
Label: Noize
Format: CDS


Haunting, but all too brief second UK single from all girl Vancouver-based group The Organ

Most people have love/hate relationships with their home towns, and Katie Sketch, the front woman with the all girl Vancouver-based group The Organ, is no exception in this. ‘Memorize the City’, her band’s second UK release, finds her very aware of her native city’s failings and shortcomings as she wanders around it for a last time before she has to leave it (“I walk around the streets and memorize the city/I can’t turn around until I reach the shore/Sometimes I close my eyes and you’re not very pretty”). With a potential new romance set to fade away before it has had the chance to bloom, she is, however, reluctant to let the city go and to walk away from it entirely (“Although our lips barely touched/ I have never felt so much/ and I would really like to feel that way again”). The Organ, which consists as well as Sketch of Shelby Stocks (drums), Debora Cohen (guitar), Ashley Webber (bass) and Jenny Smyth (Hammond Organ), have gained increasing acclaim in Canada since they first formed in 2001, and especially since the release of their debut album, ‘Grab That Gun’, there at the end of last year. Now they seem set to repeat that success in Europe. They have already played two successful tours in the last six months of Britain and France, while ‘Sinking Hearts’, their six song UK debut release which came out in April, earned them spectacular reviews and comparisons with both the Smiths and Joy Division. The haunting ‘Memorize the City’ resembles both of those groups in its melancholic beauty, but with Cohen’s jarring, shimmering guitars ; Webber’s hammering bass ; Smyth’s jangling thrusts of organ, and Sketch’s wistfully forlorn lyrics, its draw closer likeness still to the under-rated 80’s groups Martha and the Muffins and the Passions. Unfortunately, as fine as ‘Memorize the City’ is, its other tracks are disappointing. ‘There is Nothing I Can Do’, the first of these, has Sketch turning to self-harm when she finds that her lover has cheated on her (“So someone snuck into your room/and it got back to me/Now I lie her in my room/and there is nothing I can do/but cut and think about you"). It is, like ‘Memorize the City’ stark and effective, and similarly poignant, but, previously released on ‘Sinking Hearts’, offers nothing that is new to anything but the most recent of the Organ’s UK fans. The second track, a remix by Simon Booker of ‘Memorize the City’, is meanwhile an ugly mass of stubby techno beats and samples. It pushes Sketch’s excellent lyrics to the fore, but, stripping the song of most of its atmosphere, comes across as otherwise totally pointless. The briefest of returns of the Organ, ‘Memorize the City’, despite its flaws, however, remains worth seeking out for its title track alone, and, going some of the way to plugging a gap after ‘Sinking Hearts’, provides an appetizing taster for ‘Grab That Gun’ which will come out in the UK at the beginning of next year.

Track Listing:-
1 Memorize The City
2 There Is Nothing I Can Do
3 Memorize The City (Simon Bookish Remix)

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Interview (2008)
Organ - Interview
The Organ broke up in December 2006 just as they had started to taste success both in their native Canada and Europe. Have briefly reunited to record 'Thieves', a final set of six songs, singer Katie Sketch speaks to John Clarkson about the reasons for the all girl group's abrupt break-up
Interview (2005)

live reviews

Late Room, Manchester, 17/7/2006
Organ - Late Room, Manchester, 17/7/2006
Back to see Vancouver all girl five piece the Organ for a second time, Dixie Ernill at the Late Rooms in Manchester watches them play a fiery and aggressive set and onceagain prove themselves to be very special indeed
Metro, London, 15/8/2005


Memorize The City (2006)
Atmospheric and ambiguous latest single, re-released from last year, from Vancouver-based all-girl five piece, the Organ
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Sinking Hearts (2005)

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