With the excellent Soft Power Records making their home there, and now this lot, maybe the ‘ha ha ha, right, a band from Livingston’ shit really has to change.
One of my favourite Scottish bands, The Scottish Enlightenment, are from Dunfermline, Stonehaven has half a dozen cracking bands to its name (albeit mostly composed of the same people), even more great bands come from the East Neuk, and Frightened Rabbit are from the fucking Borders, so all this shite about Scottish music being dominated by the Central Belt really is baws. Alright, the industry is dominated by the Central Belt, because most of the population is there, but the actual music itself really isn’t.
The name Alan Smithee* is a funny enough name in itself, being the name Hollywood directors used to use as a code to indicate that they disowned the movie for which they were being credited. It’s a wry and very Scottish joke, and that shrug kind of fits the shamboling slacker vibe of their earlier demos, which can be a bit patchy.
Later material such as their new single Half Measured Man, is much more assured, however. There is a sort of laid back, slightly unnerving feeling to it a little reminiscent of Kurt Vile or Mac DeMarco, the latter of whom the band do cite as an influence. It’s guitar pop, basically, but there is a woozy, damaged feel to the best of it.
The band are not generally as good (in my opinion of course) when they go more upbeat, and they’re relatively new so some of the early stuff is a little uneven, but in general they sound like they have a lot of promise and I am looking forward to hearing more. Go to their Bandcamp page for a bit more.
* I confess I had to be told this by someone else, so don’t think that I am trying to show you that I am some sort of urban sophisticate and you a mere rube, I promise you I am just as clueless.More: alan smithee