review by Richard Archer
Cambridge indie-rock favourites The Centimes dispersed a couple of years ago and went in surprising directions. The great rhythm section of Jasmine Robinson and Amy Devine have formed an equally-loved punk rock group called The Baby Seals with Amy’s sister Kerry on guitar and lead vocals. The remaining Centime – 12-string whizz Adam ‘Woody’ Woodsford – moved to Copenhagen and has formed Dungarees & Dragons with Tina Bang-Olesen (formerly of London indie legends the Sock Puppets) on lead vocals.
‘Paint it on the Wall’ is the first fruits of the pairing. A groovy and international vibe is maintained throughout this 12 song set – we are treated to bouts of duetting girl/boy vocals that fall on the right side of sweet, whirling Hammond organs, skipping drums and Woody’s trademark 12-string guitar which is a delight to have back in the ear canals where it belongs.
The opening rush of ‘Hi Pierrot’ will zing the heartstrings of even the most hardened cynic, conjuring as it does a joyful melancholy akin to looking at photographs of fondly remembered times. Elsewhere, ‘Calling Tomorrow’ drifts into the stratosphere with an effervescent ascending guitar break at the songs tail-end. Even ‘Horoscope’ with its lyric of ‘clouds are raining down from the sky’ is delivered as if sunshine is not too far away.
To provide balance, the duo bare their fangs on the angry ‘Privatisation’ (sample lyric – “they don’t pay their taxes, they don’t live where you live/ Every time you buy a train ticket you give them ten quid”), and kick out a moody Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger-styled jam on the yearning ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’. But for the most part this is a gloriously up-tempo affair, calling to mind some of the best work by The Cardigans, the Pastels and even Stereolab in bits. An intriguing record.