Some albums feel like debuts. This is either because they pack a lot of punch, or else they’re the first thing you’ve heard from the band, and you didn’t really know any different: in your mind, there was nothing before it, because you never heard it. This is the case, or both cases, with Scotland Yard Gospel Choir’s latest (and third full length) record …And the Horse You Rode In On. It’s astonishing to think a band with this much going for them has not really entered the limelight before now.
The music is immediately catchy and draws you in, but its the lyrics that will keep you sticking around for more. There ae splendid couplets throughout: “I don’t want to walk in on you / Dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s” on ‘Hope is Still On Your Side’, and the grimy ‘One Night Stand’ is centred around the glorious “Let’s have a one night stand / No expectations, no demands.”
At fifteen songs in length, the album kind of overstays its welcome. The preachy ‘Sixteen is Too Young’ seems out of place, and feels like a wedge at the album’s heart. The lyric “I thought I had the world by the balls” seems forced more than anything else. It lacks the flow and urgency which makes the rest of the record so warm. But don’t stop playing the album halfway through, there are gems to be found at the end. ‘Save Your Breath’ is a great duet, and the title track is brilliantly bouncy. It’s a little bit crazy too.
This is a pop album more than anything. But not your sweet teen pop of today, nor your radio-oriented rock such as Paramore. This is pop the way your own Pop or Grandpop used to like it. This is the kind of pop championed by Melody Maker and the New Musical Express before it found initialism.
Overall, it’s a pretty good album. A bit too long, but it should be the album that launches Scotland Yard Gospel Choir into the mainstream.
Scotland Yard Gospel Choir – ‘Stop’