Album Review

Young One

Young One

by The Mayfair Set


Captured Tracks
8.5 / 10
16th March 2010

Reviewed by Paul Gallagher


Oh my god. What happens if Mike Sniper - the man behind Brooklyn-based DIY fuzz label Captured Tracks, and groups DC Snipers and solo-effort Blank Dogs - gets into bed creatively in a Whitney-meets-Bobby with a certain garage revivalist multi-instrumentalist, one time Vivian Girl and now Sub Pop-signed full time Dum Dum Girl named Dee Dee? A glorious meeting of minds, that's what.

My affectation about Blank Dogs is by no means a secret - and this EP from the Mayfair Set is but an extension of that. The sheer momentum that Sniper has created with the pace of releases under his solo project in the last 12-24 months (including a cluster of standouts LPs On Two Sides and Under and Under, and EPs The Fields and Diana the Herald) was always going to spill over into the personnel of projects he's helped, played with, released or hung out with along the way. Dum Dum Girls and the Vivian Girls have been prominent in his peripheral vision and it's no surprise that he and Dee Dee would emerge with a new project of their very own.

As far as projects filled to overflowing with washing 1980s synths, new garage, gloam pop and distorted messes go this has to be one of the better ones. Sure, Blank Dogs and Dum Dum Girls have drawn valid comparisons to the Cure, Siouxsie et al but as the Mayfair Set they're propelled together into producing lo-fi tag team duets. You might think that the coming together of two primarily solo artists would make for two voices competing as one - but here that's not the case. It's certainly not domestic bliss, but their two styles and artistic sensibilities are very well suited.

Desert Fun is most certainly the track around which this album is built. It's a lissom pop song filled with sunburn blisters and sandy excitement about a mysterious holiday far, far away from here - with soothing vocals to set within us the anticipation of something wholeheartedly good. It's a meeting in the middle between Sniper's Brooklyn base and Dee's LA home - deserving of a place alongside tracks by Orange Juice, the Fall, Marquee Moon and others on the soundtrack of any great road trip. The staccato essence of other great bands - Gang of Four, Blondie - are all caught in other standout tracks such as Dark House and Let it Melt. Also, Junked and closer Cease To Be capture the fleeting occasional unity of artists that this project entails.

 

For all it's rendering as a throwback interpretation of the glories of yesteryear, the Mayfair Set is an echo of decades past melding into a new purposeful direction. Considering their obligations to projects closer to home (with the Dum Dum Girls debut full length out on Sub Pop and a new Blank Dogs EP due any time), who knows if Sniper / Dee will meet together for more anytime soon - but rest assured I for one am waiting.






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