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This Gift

"Think The Cramps crossed with the B52s, with a fair dose of Smog and Cat Power thrown in, and you’ll be in the Sons & Daughters picture."

Rating: 8 / 10

Adrienne Murphy, 24 Jan 2008

Fans of Glasgow quartet Sons & Daughters will find hours of delight in This Gift, the band’s new 12-track album.

Since their inception in 2001 (the band was originally conceived by lead vocalist/guitarist Adele Bethel while she was on tour with Arab Strap), Sons & Daughters have evolved ­– via their records Love The Cup (an unusual homage to Johnny Cash), The Repulsion Box and now This Gift – from relatively soft to hard to softer again; and in their willingness to take the risk of moving away from what’s worked before, Sons & Daughers show the kind of courage and leap-into-the-new mentality that can lead to serious staying power.

Of particular note on this album are the tracks ‘Chains’ and ‘The Gift’, which both feature brilliantly counterpointed duetting, Bethel’s feline screech on the one side, Scott Paterson’s Glaswegian rap and wolf-howl on the other. It’s no surprise to hear that the two girls and two boys who comprise Sons & Daughters are big fans of The Velvet Underground – they’ve clearly absorbed the Velvs at their most cacophonically anarchic.

Whilst maintaining their characteristically energetic psychobilly speed, This Gift is notably poppier than what Sons & Daughters have done before. This, and the fact that Bethel’s vocals are her best ever, makes the latest album an ideal way-in, for listeners new to the band. The biggies that Sons & Daughters have supported on tour – including Morrissey, Throwing Muses, Nick Cave and Franz Ferdinand – suggest the high-quality alternative indie we’re dealing with here. Think The Cramps crossed with the B52s, with a fair dose of Smog and Cat Power thrown in, and you’ll be in the Sons & Daughters picture.

Rating: 8 / 10
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