Britain has long had a history of crafting glowing guitar pop, though the more brash bands abroad have garnered more attention. That’s probably a good thing, with bands like Charlie Big Time quietly making their way to our ears. The group’s newest EP, Dishevelled Revellers is brief, but for those of you unfamiliar with the band it’s the perfect introduction to the group, now a proper trio.
The title track begins the four song affair, beginning casually for the most part. It’s a quieted pop approach allowing listener’s to get a full grip on the inherent harmonies present within the track, but that changes at the 1 minute mark. A chorus erupts with a more distorted guitar sound, giving a heavier touch to the softer melody working beneath the tune. It’s a familiar song, sonically speaking, but one that speaks volumes to the craftsmanship of Charlie Big Time.
You’ll find that the lead single “The Liberation of Love” provides the perfect “pleased to meet you” moment with the band’s newest member, Beth Arzy. Her effortlessly gentle voice provides the perfect juxtaposition to the deeper male vocal role, and gives a different level to the slower track. There’s’ a wandering jangling guitar noodling its way about the track, which is one of the reasons I find Dishevelled Revellers so enjoyable; it’s not here to beat you over the head with brilliant pop, only here to let you sit back and enjoy incredible songwriting.
Personally, I immediately fell in love with “Real Estate” from the moment that guitar line comes in. Strummed guitars are met with solid vocals and various other textures that demonstrates the creativity of the group–it even includes some light horn flourishes. Beth’s here again, but her voice is slightly understated, turning it into more of an instrument of lushness, rather than a counterpoint. The subject matter seems fairly dark, but you’d never really know by the emotional tug you’ll get when listening to the track, happily floating away with the tune in your heart.
Then it all comes to an end with sullen “Passion and Headaches,” the fourth and final track here. It seems like the perfect song for someone living on the British Isles, or even the Northwestern US. I find that there’s a bit of a cold haze that floats about the casual track; I picture the group crafting the song on their porch as the rain comes down. But, like all great pop, you cannot help but to feel a bit of an uplifting aura surrounding the track, much as you’ll find on the whole Dishevelled Revellers EP. Charlie Big Time have managed to quickly burst into the scene of great pop songwriting, and hopefully we’ll get to hear more from them soon.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-The-Liberation-of-Love.mp3]
Download:Charlie Big Time – The Liberation of Love [MP3]
Dishevelled Revellers is now available from Matinee Recordings.