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    Bombs By Night, Balloons By Morning 6/10
    Disclaimer Guy Theme / Your Bird Is Going To Fly Away / The Imaginary Thing / Clockwork Drudgery / Five Mile High / Life In Detail / The Decipherment Of Linear B / Billy Morgan / Unopposed / Ultra XX Living Soley On XY / Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend / Maybe Today He'll Explode / Punch-Out / Why Are They Laughing / Similar To Sugar Pill

    Disclaimer is Chris Williams, with help from his friends. A home recording effort which intially gives off impressions of sounding like The Magnetic Fields in places, They Might Be Giants in other places. Ultimately, thanks to the character of the music and lyrics, they do forge an identity for themselves. The album proper begins after a brief drum and electronic keyboard theme. 'Your Bird Is Going To Fly Away' which follows is pretty damn great! The vocals are off in the distance in places, the drums rattle and roll along, but the mixture of the electronic noises in combination with an incredibly catchy melody ensures the song is a winner overall. 'The Imaginary Thing' has a flood of lyrics and a chorus that probably is the sole reason I made the comparison above to 'They Might Be Giants'. In any case, the chorus is wonderful and brings a smile of joy to your face. The song is less than two minutes in length. Overall we have fifteen songs amounting to just over forty three minutes running time. The songs are on the whole, catchy, concise, well thought out melodically. The lyrics are fine, self depreciating in places but never clumsy given the vocal performances and style of singing. This isn't a 'vocal' album bar a delightful Beach Boys style harmony part that appears much later on the record.

    'Five Miles High' is interesting lyrically and supported by a guitar line that strums and goes along merrily and quite cheerfully in contrast to the dark lyrical matter. This combination of happy music and dark lyrics just happens to be something I really love. Both The Smiths and Belle And Sebastian make a habit of it, so...that's fine by me. I happen to be a huge fan of both. 'Life In Detail' passes by inoffensively but the ending and flow into the next song is offensive! Well, offensive is perhaps too strong a word. But, it really does sound like your CD player has a severe skipping problem. I understand the idea - the end of one song forming the beginning of the next but the execution here isn't quite there. The actual song 'Decipherment Of Linear B' is pretty decent though. A haunting keyboard/piano sound, atmospheric noises and a weary sounding vocal mixed low and alluringly. The song is a bit on the short side in this case. Where other songs here are short rightly so, they sound fully formed, this 'Decipherment Of Linear B' I would have been happy to hear for another few minutes or so. The longest song here 'Why Are They Laughing' is similar in feel to 'Decipherment Of Linear B' and contains many lovely moments melodically. The lyrics here are pretty great if you pay attention to them and its a highlight of the record in terms of spine chilling atmosphere. This is certainly a style i'd like to hear more of from them.

    We have a number of cover versions all perfectly respectably done but lacking the character of the original compositions. 'Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend' for example seems slightly more throwaway than some of the other songs but even this features a great tinkling musical hook! The final song? Well. Its possibly nothing serious, its certainly happy sounding. What makes it for me is the little 'wooeee oooh' vocal harmony parts! The lyric is celebratory overall, the whole thing is wonderful. A great song to close which is always a good thing. I've made a comparison to The Magnetic Fields. There isn't actually any obvious similarity - the album just reminds me of them in places. Its a complimentary comparison - much of whats here is better melodically than plenty of groups with major recording contracts.

    For futher information regarding this release please visit disclaimerband.com


    top of page The Airbags Lipstick Kiss 7/10
    Fixing A Hole / God Said, 'Plastics!' / Vending Machine / Like The Backside Of A Bulimic's Teeth / You Ruined Everything / Generic Shoulder Blade Tattoo / Mufasa Kisses / De Sitter Horizons / Hell / Wrong For The Right Reasons Is Still Wrong / Please Pardon Our Progress!!! / I Couldn't End It There ( hidden bonus track )

    To create this web-site, I need a form of easy identification to jump to the particular albums on any given page. I usually use the first letter of each word in the title of the album in question. Eg, 'Exile On Main Street' will become 'eoms' in the HTML that's buried beneath the words you're reading on the screen right now. For this new offering from Disclaimer, we have an actual word formed, 'talk'. Several of the songs here lyrically describe a relationship breakdown, so the word 'talk' seems perhaps appropriate. 'The Airbags Lipstick Kiss' is an album with depth, with lyrical meaning and messages. It's an album that makes the listener believe that it matters, an album that you'll keep listening to regularly for years, rather than months. I'm impressed with the sounds created here. The overall sound is relatively lo-fi, but the invention beneath the surface of the production, the attention to detail through many of the songs introductions, very impressive. 'Vending Machine' contains voices and melodies and vocals layered over each other and becomes a very fascinating thing. There's an increased use of electronica or dance technology, the 'bubbles' sounds that introduce the intriguing 'Backside Of A Bulmic's Teeth' are a great touch. 'Generic Shoulder Blade Tattoo' is a very pretty track musically and vocally - clever lyrically. 'Mufasa Kisses', one of the more challenging pieces here, would go down well on BBC One DJ John Peels show, this mix of electronics, noise and melody the kind of thing i'd describe as 'intelligent' dance music, music that is electronic based but that you want to listen to and think about, rather than just mindlessly dance or bounce your ahead along to!

    One of this reviewers personal favourites here, along with the distorted guitars of the enjoyable 'You Ruined Everything', is 'Wrong For The Right Reasons'. A wordy song with a fast tempo and a rush of melody, something you really enjoy trying to sing-along with and end up wanting to learn all of the words, even though there's so many, because the tune is just that attractive! The last song proper before the hidden bonus features guest vocals and synth bass by one Joe Hinchcliffe, and I must say, I'm impressed. Uneasy harmonies with voices shifting over each other, yet the effect is absolutely glorious. In a perfect world, 'Please Pardon Our Progress!' and 'Generic Should Blade Tattoo' would be hit singles. We don't live in a perfect world, but the quality and intelligence of 'The Airbag's Lipstick Kiss' indicates to me that Disclaimer really are onto something here.


    top of page this page last updated 28/06/08

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