Wednesday, 29 July 2020

The Pale Fountains ‎– ... From Across The Kitchen Table (1985)

Style: Pop Rock, Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Virgin

A1.   Shelter
A2.   Stole The Love
A3.   Jean's Not Happening
A4.   Bicycle Thieves
A5.   Limit
A6.   27 Ways To Get Back Home
B1.   Bruised Arcade
B2.   These Are The Things
B3.   It's Only Hard
B4.   ... From Across The Kitchen Table
B5.   Hey
B6.   September Sting

Backing Vocals – Marge
Bass Guitar – Chris
Brass – Andy
Drums – Jock
Engineer – Gil Norton, Ian Caple
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Mick
Lead Guitar – John
Percussion, Berimbau – Geraldo
Composed By – Michael Head
Producer – Ian Broudie

The Pale Fountains' Ian Broudie-produced second record ditches a couple of the scatterbrained influences of the debut, so it makes for a slightly more consistent listen. Not all of the odd wrinkles are abandoned, though; they still sound as if they are trying too hard to distinguish themselves from the rest of the flock. The Fountains' strength lies in folksy pop, but on a few too many occasions, the incessant smoothness and inability to latch onto one style holds them back. Surprisingly, the title track is almost synth-pop, but a smattering of horns makes sure it isn't completely such. On "September Sting," they try their hands at Laurel Canyon country-rock and fall flat on their jumpers. When they want to, they can write finely tuned, sophisticated pop songs that are quite pleasant. Instrumentally, "Stole the Love" doesn't sound a great deal different from the Smiths. "Shelter" and "Jean's Not Happening" are fine strummers. Though a decent record and an improvement over the debut, Kitchen Table frustrates. They were too anxious to zig or zag when they could have stayed the course. After establishing themselves as a cult band, the Pale Fountains eventually broke up, with Michael Head forming the similarly cultish Shack.
Andy Kellman / AllMusic