Album | Ganglians – Still Living

Californian indie-pop band Ganglians offer up a dreamy pop record; an anastomosis of The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Drums and Beach House. I would love for this band to be set apart from those artists, to possess special individuality if you will, but it proves tricky to allow them that honour.

The album’s mood is one of jangly Byrds-esque melodies with D-I-Y drums over the top without a metronome. It’s comforting to hear lo-fi production on a modern record. It’s a pleasant listen, yet dips ever so slightly half-way through in the plod of ‘Jungle’ and ‘Bradley.’

Inventive lyrics could have made this a more interesting and listenable record but unfortunately it falls short. Opener, ‘Drop The Act’ sings of ‘This is a sad, sad song, for all you sad, sad people’ – a little bit forgettable and obvious. The Byrds influences shine out most clearly on aptly named upbeat track ‘Good Times’ – yet there is a throb of sadness, a heavy heartedness and (whisper it) a drudge in their music. Melodically it feels too predictable.

Perhaps I’m just too hard to please, but the boys from California aren’t quite the 21st century answer to the Beach Boys just yet…

Words: Michael Somerville