Legal Man EP
Matador / Jeepster
By: Eric G.
This three song EP is a quick teaser to get people excited about the band's forthcoming album, hilariously titled (in the grand tradition of Morrissey), Fold Your Hands Child You Walk Like A Peasant. Though none of these songs is featured on the new record, you get a sense as to the band's new direction, which, surprisingly, ignores the self-conscious blend of folk and light electronics of its first three albums and takes cues from psychedelic sixties guitar pop.
Stuart David is gone but hardly missed- his Looper-esque contributions to The Boy With The Arab Strap were uneven and obtrusive. Stuart Murdoch, however, is still a member, of course, but his presence is not felt on any of these songs, unfortunately. "Legal Man" is an upbeat rocker for Belle And Sebastian. The party crowd vocals led by Isobel Campbell harmonize with the rest of the band on top of scuttling percussion and an infectious organ line. The biggest shock is the band's newly found proficiency with its instruments. Past releases were wrought with hesitation and an amateurish charm, but all the kinks seem to be gone.
The questionably titled "Judy Is A Dick Slap" is another organ drenched pop rocker. It's an instrumental led by an onslaught of keyboards and jangly guitars (an extended version of which is available only on the 12" version). The production is far superior to any of the band's past releases, relishing in reverb drenched nostalgia. "Winter Wooskie" only hints at Belle And Sebastian's humorously morose folk rock. It gallops along gently with breezy acoustic guitars and what sounds like a stand up bass. Its light melancholic haze doesn't impede its inherent melodiousness, much as you'd expect from Belle And Sebastian.