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November 14, 2006

The Organ

Writing about web page

Within seconds of Interpol having the fantastic idea of ripping off Joy Division there were waves of others who had the great idea of ripping off Interpol. Unfortunately the majority seem to have neglected certain details like the fact that Interpol actually did something more than merely ape Curtis, Sumner, Hook and Morris. For a start their music was denser, against Joy Division’s wiry minimalism. From the Interpol copyists comes precious little diversity, just men with sad voices singing songs which long to be drenched in Mancunian rain.

So what from here? From safety to where?

Why not let the girls have a go?

Oh they already have…

The Organ tend to be described as five morose young women from Canada. It’s not hard to see why. They make sad songs and are Canadian. Sort of. Actually, being Canadian is somewhat irrelevant unless there’s now a conscious attempt to liberate Canada from the Celine Dion/ Bryan Adams/Shania Twain tripartite dictatorship which makes people view Canada with suspicion. And the “sort of” applies to them being morose. Because there’s more to it than that.

Firstly being Canadian and in possession of a knowledge of the New Wave is not new. The Stills did it three years ago but kind of ruined it by being simply dreadful live and then messing around with their lineup and, indeed, every other aspect of their band. But the Organ seem more coherent, more cohesive. I bet they’d never turn around from a five minute jam and ask the audience “Do you think this is indulgent?” like some Canadian bands mentioned in this paragraph.

The clue’s in their timing. Their album is merely half an hour long. No fat, no flab, no fifteen minute jazz oddysseys with controls set for the heart of the fretwank. No song shall overstay its welcome. If you went round their house they’d give you a ready prepared cup of tea, ask how your day was then chuck you out onto the street. Where you belong.

Listening to their songs suggests being thrown out onto the street is something they’ve both done and suffered in the past. The first two tracks on their album Grab That Gun, ‘Brother’ and ‘Steven Smith’, take us straight away into their strange happy/sad world in which “we are warm and we are safe/enjoy it while you can before/things change” and where the eponymous stud Smith is somehow resistable to singer Katie Sketch whilst all others end up having regret filled romps. Chiming guitars, floaty synths and the strange feeling that they might have decided to conceal the Interpol connections with a heady dose of The Smiths abound. Really they’d be happiest wandering around Oxford Road, looking for new guitars at Johnny Roadhouse, M1 7DU, and complaining about the Glazers as the bright lights of the Curry Mile flash around them.

It’s all gone Mancunian!

But why not? No song overstaying its welcome, each emotion kept in check by mere threads. It’s the sort of album you need at 2am when you’re not entirely sure if you’re happy or sad, and need a slab of atmosphere which will happily accommodate both. So very blank and so very detailed at the same time. It shouldn’t work but it does.

Buy Grab That Gun from Amazon

Listen To These:

The Organ – ‘Basement Band Song’ MP3 Expired

The Organ – ‘A Sudden Death’ MP3 Expired

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