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Comet Gain - Paperback Ghosts

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 12 / 7 / 2014

Comet Gain - Paperback Ghosts
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Splendid seventh album from London-based band Comet Gain, which combines their indie pop sound with a Northern Soul influence

Comet Gain's first release was two tracks on a Wiiija compilation EP 'Some Hearts Paid to Lie' in 1993, alongside three riot grrrl bands. They then went on to record an EP 'Holloway Sweethearts' on Soul Static Sound in 1994. Comet Gain then signed with Wiiija and released their debut album 'Casino Classics' and a further EP in 1995. During the Wiiija period, Comet Gain were both loosely associated with the UK riot grrrl scene and regularly compared to Dexys Midnight Runners, but their music varied dramatically in style from indie-pop influenced 60's girl-group sounds, through early-80s alternative pop, to pure punk. Other early offerings included 1996's 'Say Yes to International Socialism' EP, but in early 1997 the majority of Comet Gain split leaving singer-songwriter and guitarist David Bower (aka David Feck/David Christian) to continue Comet Gain with new members. With a new line-up including new vocalist Rachel Evans and bassist Kay Ishikawa and Darren Smyth on drums, Comet Gain released their comeback album Tigertown Pictures in 1999. In 2002 they were joined by guitarist Jon Slade (ex-Huggy Bear) and drummer Woodie Taylor (ex-Morrissey/The Meteors), and they continued in the garage-punk direction of their previous work. Fifth album 'City Fallen Leaves' was released to much critical acclaim in 2005, while the release of sixth album 'Howl of the Lonely Crowd' in 2011, which incidentally was produced by Ryan Jarman and Edwyn Collins, saw Comet Gain as a 7-piece band with the addition of Ben Phillipson (ex-Kicker, Eighteenth Day of May) on guitar and backing vocals and Anne Laure Guillain on keyboards and backing vocals. That brings us to today and the release of their new album 'Paperback Ghosts', a twelve track offering that oozes professionalism and mixes indie pop beats with the odd slide into Northern Soul influences with its classy chorus and melodies. It also includes some real special string moments in there too. There's a lovely violin drifting in and out of tracks like 'The Last Love Letter', and you'll also smile at the odd Hammond-sounding keys in there too on songs such as 'All the Avenue Girls'. Other standouts include 'Sad Love' and "Far from the Pavilion', and the album ends the six minutes of 'Confessions of a Daydream', a foot-tapping masterpiece that screams early 60's R&B with added wailing guitar fuzz. Splendid.

Track Listing:-
1 Long After Tonite's Candles Are Blo
2 'Sad Love' and Other Short Stories
3 Behind the House She Lived In
4 Wait 'Til December
5 Breaking Open the Head, Pt. 1
6 The Last Love Letter
7 Sixteen Oh Four
8 (All The) Avenue Girls
9 Your Haunted Heart
10 Far from the Pavilion
11 An Orchid Stuck Inside Her Throat
12 Confessions of a Daydream

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Kulturbolaget, Malmo, 15/3/2003
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