Mount Watatic Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


London's Divisionists has been teasing us with incredible singles reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub and Matthew Sweet, essentially refueling the power pop sounds of the '90s with a modern day feel. Though  they've only been around since 2010, they play like seasoned vets and embrace psych-rock and folk sounds among others on this first album. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Say Can You” starts the listen out perfectly with '90s alt-rock guitars and soft yet rugged singing that  would have fit in perfectly on 120 Minutes between songs from The Lemonheads and Bob Mould. “Fraction Of Grace” follows and brings the tempo down with a more dreamy, laidback affair, and things become even calmer with the lo-fi Sebadoh like feeling of “Alone.”

As we get towards the middle of the album, the band's psych-rock influences come through, starting with the mostly instrumental, hazy “Dream Landscape” and punctuated with the folky, spacey “Pale Blue Eyes,” which is a fantastic version of a tune by The Velvet Underground. “Colours (Song For A Spaceman)” is where a sharp turn occurs into '70s folk feelings, though there's plenty of otherworldly sounds to be found, and “Little Margaret” brings us back to earth and right into some Tom Petty similarities.

The band gets even more exploratory near the end with the driving lo-fi indie rock of “All Fall Down,” where horns and frenzied finish make this a standout track, and “Freedom” brings in vocal harmonizing to an airy, jangly tune. The album exits on the seven minutes of “We Must Be Careful,” which pulls their vast influences into one collage of melody and meanders in and out of busy, louder moments and lulls of quiet tunefulness.

If Neil Young grew up listening to '80s college rock, it might sound like this. As far as debut albums go, Divisionists has pieced together a solid effort here, weaving bits together of some of the best genres of the last few decades.

Rating: B

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