As a general rule, truly great pop records must be short: they should hit you with all the power of a juggernaut, then whiz off into the distance, leaving you reeling and lusting for more. There is no room for poncey middle eights or fiddly outros. A good pop album is like a weekend fling: it offers cheap thrills and never outstays its welcome. With 11 tracks clocking in at a succinct 28 minutes, So Cow’s second album I’m Siding with My Captors is the perfect pop bed-fellow.
It’s a rush of jangly gems that sound like some forgotten Postcard Records release, chock-full of glorious fizzy treats that leave you as giddy as a twirl on the Waltzers. Sparky and wry, Brian Kelly can create tunes that sound as vital and as exuberant as The Television Personalities, with a dash of Dan Deacon for good measure. Look no further than the sublime -One Hundred Helens’ or the effervescent album opener -Exclamation Mark’. With its fuzzed-up guitars and basic drum machine beats, it’s Graham Coxon without the self-indulgent whinging, although So Cow’s odes to wistful teenage growing pains and brief encounters has got more self deprecating lyrics than you can wave a damp hankie at.
‘I’m the boy that hormones forgot’ the Tuam tunesmith cries at his Belle and Sebastian best on -Halcyon Days’. Tweeness aside, I’m Siding with My Captors‘ simple pure pop genius will leave you goggle-eyed in wonderment, with your trigger finger firmly on the repeat button. This is a catchy, captivating bone-fide pop album which deserves to be cherished.