The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

The Proper Ornaments: Wooden Heart (Fortuna POP!, Slumberland, 2014)

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El inicio de Gone ya nos presagia lo que va a ocurrir en Wooden Heart, el debut propiamente dicho del dúo de Londres The Proper Ornaments:
Ritmo cadencioso, tonos bajos y esa sensación tan cool del Noise hecho con las tripas. Max Claps y James Hoare (Veronica Falls) saben cómo manejar este negociado. Con Sun continúa el tono de medio tiempo, con ese aura de Pop Psicodélico que nos acompañará durante todo este placentero viaje (Don´t you want to know -What you´re going to be-, Tire me out, Always there, What I am to do, Summer´s goneYou´ll see
El primer sobresalto lo encontramos en Now I Understand, probablemente el corte que más me emociona del disco. Una preciosa canción con mensajes sombríos y un guitarreo Jangle que me pone los pelos de punta. Aquí respiro a sesentas y me encuentro a mis anchas. Esa compleja sencillez embriagadora juega a ganadora.

El mismo ambiente exhala Magazine, otro de los mejores cortes de Wooden Heart. Repetimos Jangle y repetimos voces angelicales que me recuerdan las mejores armonías de Turn! Turn! Turn!. Yo creo que algo de pasión por The Byrds, The Beatles y Velvet Underground les lleva a facturar su sonido (Step into the cold me recuerda mucho a la época Loaded de la banda de Lou Reed).
Y es en canciones como Stereolab (referencia inequívoca incluida) donde los Ornaments encuentran su sonido, no en vano, es el corte más semejante al soberbio Recalling, su aclamado y notorio primer sencillo.

El álbum se cierra con la inspiradísima y oscura You shouldn´t have gone, una epopeya épica en la que nos encontramos de bruces con Reed y los Reid, una canción soberbia que echa el cierre a un álbum perfecto para disfrutar a solas,  a ser posible sin demasiadas interferencias externas. Como bien dice su nota de prensa: “The Proper Ornaments demuestran que es posible facturar un álbum de pura perfección Pop. La novia de Max podría no haber robado aquellas botas, pero TPO van a robar tu corazón”. Me parece el epílogo perfecto para un perfecto álbum de Pop Psicodélico.


“Slumberland Records is pleased to bring you the debut album from London-based neo-psychedelic pop group The Proper Ornaments. Mining the rich territories of The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys, Wooden Headfeatures fourteen thrillingly taut and melodic pop songs with a deep, dark undercurrent. Comprised of Argentinian Max Claps and James Hoare (also of Veronica Falls) – who both sing and write the songs – and joined by Daniel Nellis (bass) and Robert Syme (drums), the band have already shared stages with the likes of Real Estate, Woods, Crystal Stilts, Toy and Metronomy.
Maximo Claps arrived in London in 2008 on a one-way ticket from Buenos Aires, aided by former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Oldham had produced a record by Claps’ Argentinian band of the time but the group had fallen apart in a mess of drugs and acrimony and Claps’ family were attempting to intervene by sending him to a mental hospital. The only option seemed to be to flee the country. As Claps recalls, “The day before flying to the UK I got run over by a car and had to escape hospital in order to make it so I arrived with bandages and my head all stitched up.”
A few weeks later Max walked into the vintage clothes shop where James Hoare sat behind the counter reading a book on The Velvet Underground, and attempted to cause a diversion while his kleptomaniac girlfriend stole a pair of boots. “She didn’t steal them in the end,” says Max. “They weren’t her size”. However, the shop assistant and the would-be accomplice bonded over a mutual love of the Velvets, Love, Felt and West Coast pop and began writing together, taking their name from a song by the pioneering soft psych band The Free Design. In 2010 they released their first single, “Recalling”, following it up with a five-song EP for London label No Pain in Pop. In 2013 Lo Recordings released all their output to date on a collection titled Waiting for the Summer, followed by the single “First Step Out” in February 2014.
Their new album Wooden Head was recorded at a studio in Hackney, as well as at home in their old flat in Whitechapel on a broken 8-track reel-to-reel bought off eBay from an angry guy who threatened to shoot them and chop off their balls when they attempted to return it – a terrifying experience for a pair of skinny indie boys. Taking inspiration from Berlin-era Lou Reed, Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands, The Television Personalities and West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, the songs are breezy and easy on the ear, with sublime harmonies and chiming Byrdsian guitar, but with a darker twist and a pervasive air of melancholy. Stand-out tracks include the beautiful but sad “Summer’s Gone” (about mental illness), “Magazine” (an upbeat number written from the perspective of a bullet in the barrel of a gun) and “You’ll See” (about how when you die you’ll see everyone you know, all there lined up in a row).
With Wooden Head, The Proper Ornaments prove that it is still possible to create an album of pure pop perfection. Max’s girlfriend may not have stolen the boots, but The Proper Ornaments are about to steal your heart” (Press)

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15 enero, 2015 - Posted by | The Proper Ornaments

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