Sunday, 22 October 2017

Tangerines - Into The Flophouse

(This review first appeared in issue #66 of Shindig! magazine.)

RIP CD / LP

Tangerines are interestingly out of step with their indie scene contemporaries. Though they mix Graham Parker pub-rock and Dylan-esque vocal phrasing, the south London quartet are no mere nostalgics, documenting life in a city that's paved not with gold but with empty beer cans and broken dreams. Lead single 'Peckham Boys' sets the tone, borrowing the riff from Warren Zevon's 'Werewolves of London' and letting louche tales of self-medication take centre stage. Frontman Gareth Hoskins is a skillful lyricist, in possession of youthful but jaded vocals. He draws you into a world of street level romance and modern bohemianism. It's a place where seediness and artful aspiration feed off each other.

The traditional two guitars, bass and drums sound is strengthened by sleazy saxophone skronk on several tracks, and guitarist Miles Prestia comes across as a gifted if understated guitarist, helping the dynamics shift with spirals that Tom Verlaine would be proud of.