This week I am ‘Spillin’ The Beans on the new album by London band The Divisionists. The album is entitled “Daybreak” and is available here on Bandcamp.
The album actually came out in May, so apologies for being late getting around to it, but better late that never, eh?
What you get with The Divisionists is very much guitar-based rock, power pop in places, but also with more thoughtful songs. The track “Dream Landscape” is very much typical of the slower more thoughtful songs, with some lovely guitar work that reminds me of Neil Young in places. Both this track and the album opener “Say Can You” have been released as singles. Now, I am a huge fan of power pop and of Neil Young, so not liking this album would be a huge anomaly. Happily, there are no anomalies here, because this is terrific guitar-driven rock of the kind that just begs for a warm sunny day, a few friends and a bottle or two of something chilled to drink. The Neil Young influence crops up again on the incandescent “The First Casualty“, a track that really hits the spot. It is followed by a cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes“, which, while not departing too far from the original manages to treat the material in a way that you want to listen to it. There is some lovely ethereal synth on the track, which washes through the chiming guitar in a way that I personally find enchanting. This is clever musicianship.
There are many facets to the music. The Divisionists are clearly players who have listened widely and absorbed all manner of influences. There is psychedelia (the new sound of today, pop pickers!), power pop, folk-rock, a hint of 70s Laurel Canyon (to my ears, at least), a touch of shoegaze and some 90s dream pop, all blended together in such a way that the music just works. It doesn’t sound like pastiche. It sound right. What I really like about the album is the way it is paced. You get fast tracks interspersed with slower ones. upbeat songs bookended with more introspective ones, ballads alternating with rocky guitar workouts. Like I said, clever musicianship, and a clever and meticulous approach to presenting the material.
The band are;
Brendan Quinn – guitar, lead and backing vocals, piano, organ
Rob McGregor – drums, percussion
Mark Bennett – guitar, synths, backing vocals
Mike Whitaker – bass, piano, backing vocals
Brian Idd – saxophone on All Fall Down
Gwen Knighton – backing vocals on Colours (Song for a Spaceman) & We Must Be Careful
Lisa Makros – backing vocals on Freedom