Review Summary: There's an original album to be found in Scribble Mural Comic Journal, only if the band could find it under its own warped, swirling noises.
There are only so many twirling, atmospheric sonic booms one can listen to before they all start to sound the same. The most recent addition to this prolific musical endeavor is A Sunny Day In Glasgow, following their similar EP with a layered, warped, and disappointingly over-familiar debut that, by and large, takes a page from My Bloody Valentine almost verbatim. A great band to channel, but it all amounts to a nostalgic, inferior album that is no less overshadowed by similar, superior up-and-comers.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow manages to name the music and not the lyrics: ‘Wake Up Pretty’ recalls the fleeting moments between being awake and being asleep, the fitful struggle of the brain to comprehend how the body works. The swooping crane of the short song never manages to rise past this aesthetic dreamlike state and feels uncompleted, but it swirls around into ‘No. 6 Von Karman Street’ with ease. Here, like ‘Wake Up Pretty’ before it, channels the colliding techno-ticking beats with berating guitars towards a similar daily routine sound. Its conjunction with ‘Wake Up Pretty’ feels more like a flowing, colorful cartoon of people and waking up to their extraordinary lives.
This charisma doesn’t last though, and ‘No. 6’ falters towards its finish line, marring what had begun as a probing, noisy album into an uninspired clash of aesthetically pleasing loops. ‘A Mundane Phonecall To Jack Parsons’ plays out like an impatient ring to a forgetful love without backing it up with much emotional coherency (though a dash of classical piano creates for a rather hopeful mood), while ‘5:15 Train’ stutters like a locomotive on tracks, as grating as it is invigorating with a flutter of, if not repetitive, then recycled indie-pop rock melodies. There are some moments of creative artistic ability: ‘Ghost in the Graveyard’ begins with a floating melody, the warped guitars hovering like a suppressed spirit before breaking out as a jaunting poltergeist of clashing guitars, building with intensity before they’re buzz in apathetic anger; 'Things Only I Can See' bounces around in dance-pop fashion as the most easily accessible song on the album, sounding like a female-oriented Animal Collective; but these moments don't stand out enough to make up for lack of ingenuity elsewhere.
The vocals are the least accomplished part of the album, but that’s probably the point. Lauren Daniels and Robin Daniels smooth out the production with smooth, intertwining layered vocals that never draw attention to themselves; the lack of immediacy of the vocals leave little room to care for the lyrics, nearly indistinguishable when the phantom vocals bombard their way through the speakers. This is most notable on the over praised ‘C’mon,’ a neo-eclectic clash of cymbals and reverberating guitars where the vocals merely penetrate in spurts of distorted anguish.
By the time ‘The Best Summer Ever’ ends (a pulsating summer track that feels underutilized and amateurish, and, at the expense of sounding ignorant, foreign
, like a failed attempt at reaching an American audience by learning English), one can’t doubt Scribble Mural Comic Journal
is an interesting listen, but its sonic sound waves call more for an analytical observation than an enjoyable one. Much like the recent the Twilight Sad, comparisons to the likes of My Bloody Valentine are warranted. But the droopy-eyed, shoegazing melodies of Scribble Mural Comic Journal
feel calculated and, most crippling, like an aspiring knock-off. There's an original album to be found in Scribble Mural Comic Journal
, only if the band could find it under its own warped, swirling noises.