This duo have the Atlantic ocean sepearting them, yet they’ve utilised the internet to create this, their 3rd LP. Opening track The Good Times has a driving rhythm that makes this sound like a particularly buoyant Bruce Springsteen foray into pop territory, y’know from the era he’d probably least like to remember, though the track itself here, and under this band’s guidance, is a sweet and chirpy tune, though it kind of disappears once it launches into its titular sing-a-long.
It’s a somewhat peculiar arrangment between Jamie Radford and Sean Dunlop, Radford providing lyrics and ‘inspiration’, whilst the music is entirely composedand performed by Dunlop who also sings. My Dilated Pupils is a soft-rocker, giving Dunlop a chance to break out a guitar solo, whilst Care In The Community has a somewhat laidback Fleetwood Mac vibe, though lyrically – and with Dunlop’s delivery – it’s a bit closer to the rather random trippy thoughts of Steve Harley.
The ornate ballad Beautiful Thing Called Life sashays between a delightfully prosaic and wonky song, as Dunlop repeats over rising carnival strings and woozy brass; ‘What’s going on with my life? What’s going on with my mind?’ But occasionally it feels a touch mawkish, and doesn’t really seem to go anywhere, which is a shame as it was teetering on the verge of being something particularly special. There are more experimental pop throwbacks ot be found in World Of Pain (The Nihilist), somewhere between The Age Of Aquarius and Sopwith Camel.
Spit is a snarly little tune, whilst the nicely titled If There’s A Shark In This Fishbowl has a lively, jubilant chorus reminscent of Blue Oyster Cult‘s Don’t Fear The Reaper. After a couple of so-so acoustic driven tracks the album comes to a close with the title track, it’s got a nice uplifting lead riff, laidback basslines and a generally sunny attitude befitting of the title. Alas its verses don’t quite lift the spirits as successfully, a series of see-saw sentiments such as ‘I try to scream, but I only squeal’ that don’t really hit home as ironic observations and fall flat.
It’s somewhat endearing to have a record so deeply entrenched in early soft-rock staples, and occasionally These Curious Thoughts hit upon a nice little melody here and there, though there’s not enough that particularly lingers long after the LP ends, however, it’s a pleasant listen and could be a real treat for fans of the genre.