Bands from Liverpool have constantly reimagined the sound of the place since The Beatles invented music on Merseyside all those years ago. The fertile Eric’s scene of the late 70s brought about post punk with the Bunnymen, Julian Copeland and co., and lately Outfit are getting attention beyond the North West with their electronica further pushing things forward. However, there has been a vein as reliable as the Mersey which has been repeatedly tapped by bands in the city since the halcyon 60s.
As the Fab Four robbed their sound from rock n roll vinyls half-inched from Cunard Yanks, the sounds of the big place across The Pond as well as the Merseybeat aesthetic have always loomed large for many a La. Most recently, The Coral breathed fresh life into the West Coast neo-60s sound at the beginning of this century and it’s their erstwhile guitar maestro Bill Ryder Jones who helps out on this debut offering from Liverpudlian Peter Jackson AKA We Are Catchers.
Why Mr Ryder Jones’ brand of classic pop comes across as relevant rather than crude (see Cast) comes down to sincerity. And with We Are Catchers, while the spirit of Brian Wilson is channelled throughout, the harmonies familiar, and the melodies timeless rather than progressive, it is always heartfelt. Jackson is continuing a proud tradition which is as important as the boundary-pushing inclinations of the other side of the Liver coin.
After hearing tracks such as Isabelle and If You Decide a couple of times you’ll feel like you’ve lived with them all your life. To many this is how music should sound, if it ain’t broke etc. And with good reason: there’s a life-affirming romantic quality to these songs you just don’t get with krautrock or Techno. However, take your eye of the ball and you get Britpop style pastiche as with The Fear on this record.
Piano-driven, tambourine-aided melody greets the listener with all smiles at every corner of this album and it’s as charming as a cheeky scouse scally (the grubby black and white type who hung around with Dylan in the 60s rather than the hooded gun-slingers of Norris Green today). Liverpool’s heritage is in good hands.
We Are Catchers is released on Domino Records on 24th March.