Review: Turnpike Glow – ‘Fünke Pop EP’

turnpikeFrom London via Rome, Turnpike Glow are a ‘Psychotropic’ (us either) quartet that pitch up somewhere in the vicinity of Vampire Weekend and The Shins.

Whilst the latter are probably the tent-pegs which secured the American indie rock phenomenon of the Noughties, chief Glow-er Sandro Schiena prefers to be more mysterious, claiming that the band’s mission is really chaos: “Right from the start we want to trigger the audience’s attention and make them wonder what the hell was going on”.

Groovy.

If that sounds just plain wrong after a couple of listens to ‘Fünke Pop‘, their second EP, then there are grounds at least for some forgiveness. You’re probably wandering what those are, so in no particular order, let’s list them out.

1: They’re remarkably Californian sounding. Not exactly a killer USP we admit, but each of ‘Fünke Pop’s daringly symmetrical four tracks is long on sunny guitars, the heady glow of Rhodes and the kind of harmonies which Brian Wilson disciples have been majoring on for nearly five decades.

The best example of this is ‘Her Flaming Lips‘, a paean to Wayne Coyne and co. that has none of his band’s abstractions, and mixes afro pop with a straight up rock n’ roll chorus; Schiena says he was simply trying to replicate the simple feeling of joy they get from making the most of what they have.

It’s closely followed by ‘Debussy‘, a (slightly) funkier take on their West Coast/West London hybrid that has the DNA of being a potential festival barnstormer this summer.

2: They’re quite good. Well, see all the stuff we spouted on about under Point 1. There hasn’t been a record which has engaged our inner karma quite so much since The Little Ones‘ ‘Morning Tide‘, and they were lovely people too.

It seems that the only thing pretentious about Fünke Pop is its name.

(Arctic Reviews)

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