"My Jangling Heart" CD
Genre: jangle pop, indie pop
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
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
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
lokomotiv stockport's myspace
[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by
released April 2008]