steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Lokomotiv Stockport

"My Jangling Heart" CD

Trebletone Records

Genre: jangle pop, indie pop

Manchester, UK

Sep 17 2008

If someone were to tell me this was a long-lost collection of Smiths rarities, I might be compelled to believe them. Indeed, Lokomotiv Stockport, the lo-fi solo project of Frank Pelham (whose old band once appeared on a Cog Sinister compilation), plays music highly influenced by his legendary compatriots. And while My Jangling Heart isn't the next The Queen is Dead, it is a competent collection of appropriately jangly, distinctly British pop songs.

The main knock on Pelham's album is its inconsistency. Indeed, there are some incredulously charming songs here. "Me and My Bicycle" is an uplifting, personal indie pop gem ala The Ocean Blue, while sorrowfully mesmerizing "I Don't Know How to Love Her" sees Pelham at his glorious, jangly best. However, not all of My Jangling Heart's ten songs turn out so peachy. "All the Things" and "A Woman's World" are melodically mild, while lowlight "Candle to an Iceberg" is a plodding exercise in tedium. Somewhere between the good and the bad lie unmistakable Smiths ringer "Strangely Drawn" and infectious "Having an Affair," which reminds me of recent work by Chris Cacavas. Dreamy "I'm Not Dreaming" is also worthy of note for its 16 Lovers Lane era Go-Betweens approximation.

As might be expected from a home-produced CDR release, My Jangling Heart is a record that includes too much. At times, Lokomotiv Stockport hints at his overwhelming potential, as on aforementioned "I Don't Know How to Love Her." But as it is, this is an album with an EP's worth of release-worthy songs. Still, Pelham's penchant for lush, melodic indie pop cannot be denied - with a touch more attention to detail, his next record could be a doozy.

[Ed. note: this album is available for free download at]

lokomotiv stockport's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released April 2008]