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Album Review: Sweet Sweet Lies – The Hare, The Hound & The Tortoise

3 min read

Rising Brighton 6 piece Sweet Sweet Lies are preparing themselves for the release of their debut album, The Hare, the Hound and The Tortoise,which hits the marker on Monday 20th February.

The Hare, the Hound and The Tortoise is a collection where talent flows thick. Each and every track making up the meaty 12 song track-listing is performed with gusto and the band pack as many instruments into each number that is possible but instead of feeling crowded the record radiates an upbeat simplicity, filled to the brim with faultless musicianship while remaining uncomplicated in its delivery.

SweetSweetLiesTheHoundA cool base line opens the record before the band erupt into the powerfully energetic introductory  number, Capital of Iceland. Taking the bull by the horns from the first beat we are offered a band who really know their way around a song as they unfold a flawless, folk heavy and articulated jig.

Overrated Girlfriend is a witty addition to the opening of the record with its momentous chorus depicting the story of exactly what the title declares – an overrated girlfriend. The bands lead vocalist, Dominic VonTrapp, gives his bittersweet vocal chords a real workout on the track as he rips through humor filled lines like, “She turns me on then kicks me out, spits and swears and lies and shouts but I love my overrated girlfriend”, allowing him to show off his vocal versatility while a horn section provides the track with a gypsy-flavored closing.

Harmonies are the order of the day with Winter of Discontent as the track begins with a soft, perfectly harmonized intro before the number steps up and evolves into a commercial, radio friendly highlight on the The Hare, the Hound and The Tortoise. The band add a Cuban feel to the centre of the track with the number also, in parts, sounding very similar to the 80’s classic, I Need A Hero. Maybe just me, but take a listen…do you hear it?

The middle of the record offers some inspiring balladry in the form of No One Will Love You Like I Do and Lizbet Blue. Both tracks form a sweet core to The Hare, the Hound and The Tortoise as the band envelope a gorgeous pair of tracks overflowing with sentiment and grandeur. Where No One Will Love You Like I Do offers us a track bursting with sweet folk-laced string arrangements and some complimenting band harmonies, Lizbet Blue takes on a more vocally rock tinged approach with fantastic results.

Too Drunk To Love You is a very honest and humorous inclusion on The Hare, the Hound and The Tortoise. Lyrically candid the track tells of a man inebriated and trying to express the things he would like to be able to do but fails miserably at. With a slightly slurred vocal style adding effect to the tone of the track the closing line of “I’m too drunk to fuck, so just kiss me goodnight” expresses it in true candid fashion, although slightly overindulged, in case anyone was in any doubt at the tracks lyrical point.

The Hare, the Hound and The Tortoise is a charming release for the Brightonian 6 piece who sound both tight and qualified in the craft of songwriting and musicianship and The Hare, the Hound and The Tortoise, if not by the very contents of the memorable and well crafted pieces put together to make up the records track-listing, showcases a talented collective of musicians who contain the energy and eclecticism to shine in 2012.