Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Flashback: my student review of Goya Dress - Rooms

In my wasted youth at University of Hull, I penned the odd review for Hullfire, the student newspaper. For the sake of both completeness and comedy value, I'm adding them to this blog and then listening to the original if I can track it down to see if I agree with 20 year-old me.

Today, we've got Goya Dress, who produced a rather underrated album which as the review below shows I had rather a soft spot for. I also saw them at the Phoenix Festival in 1995, where they were excellent.
KLANG! Oops! A false alarm set off by the name of the band, for while Goya Dress are intelligent and passionate, they are thankfully not over-pretentious.
I'm not sure if 20-year old me had anything more than the vaguest idea who Goya was, so clearly I was in no position to judge.
Essentially old-school indie that wouldn't look out of place on 4AD, dabbling at times in Tori Amos territory, the album delves into the emotional undergrowth, managing to be gripping without being over-sentimental, or worse still, the Cranberries.
Singer/guitarist Astrid Williamson even manages to make all those exhausted cliches about angelic, unearthly voices sound reasonable. 
This was before 'achingly beautiful' was invented, otherwise I would have no doubt dropped that in too.
I could moan about the duration of the album, or complain that two of the tracks are unworthy to wear flowery dresses in the presence of the rest...
Nope, I got nothing.
...but often the Dress are the musical equivalent of a whole box of luxury chocolates, you can overlook the odd hazelnut surprise. (8/10)
 Am I? Yes I really am deploying a variant on the Forrest Gump metaphor. I now want to go back and smack myself upside the head. 

Here's the demo version of my favourite Goya Dress track then and now - Scorch, which I prefer to the album version 


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