A horrible hack

The Popguns

Pop Fiction

Year Released: 2014
Format: CD
Label: Matinee Recordings
Reviewed by MH on Feb 3, 2015
I was glad to hear The Popguns were alive again when they sent their recent single into CZ towards the end of last year and now there is a full length - their first one in 20 years or so. They always had a knack at writing smartly, simple indie pop songs full of wistfulness and nostalgia and time hasn't done anything to change that. The emotive vocals of Wendy Pickles had me hooked when I was a teenager and they still do now. The first song "City Lights" has that sad, jangly, power poppy feel I associate them with and it's an opener that sends me straight back to 1996. "Lovejunky", the lead track from that recent single, is a gem of a track and re-appears here. Straight after that one, they nod to one of their oldest songs "Waiting For The Winter" with "Still Waiting For The Winter" and it's full of imagery of the band in Brighton in the early days. The jangle on the guitar in "Leaning on the Backline" is utterly gorgeous and the lyrics are a perfect mix of nostalgia and regret. Great song - maybe I'd pick that as the standout. It's that mix of nostalgia and wistfulness that I find so appealing in the lyrics. There is also a song on here called "Alfa Romeo" and it features lyrics like "Oh you, unimaginably cool on the boulevard in your Alfa Romeo". I was thinking it was a bit of a funny choice of topic before the realisation hit me that it was specifically about Chet Baker and his car and he did drive an Alfa Romeo (apparently). If you liked this band's previous stuff I think you will love this. I think it's better than "Snog". This is 10 songs that fit that old blueprint but it's a more consistent album overall and this goes to show that the Popguns can still write great pop songs after all this time.

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