Album Reviews

Cherryfalls – Winter/Winter

(Island) UK release date: 18 April 2005

Cherryfalls - Winter/Winter So, Cherryfalls have already submitted three singles, including two from this release. Funny that, as I had never heard of this group, which I put down to either the sheltered life of A-level submission that I lead, or the possibility that this was a band that had simply sunk into the plethora of British indie soft-rock, making few ripples on impact.

After the first play, I made firm reservations to get out more. Cherryfalls provide something quite rare, a breed of unpretentious, honest and wonderfully tuneful song writing, showing would-be superstars Snow Patrol the meaning of consistent catchiness. This album takes an existing genre and does it properly, leaving Winter/Winter a work of simple splendour that will stick in the mind upon first impact.

Opening track In Your Arms Again wastes no time in taking us to rousing chorus territory, which we visit more than frequently with this London four-piece. With three or more repetitions in each track, this could have proved to be extremely tiring, if it were not for the subtle alterations in the vocal delivery of Joe McAdam, who possesses the kind of soft dulcet tones Bono may have if he were to be unexpectedly possessed by the spirit of Matt Bellamy.

Undoubtedly a vocally driven band, each song Cherryfalls produces hinges on how the tasteful guitar work of McAdam and Adrian Woodward complements the gentle and superbly harmonised hooks, this is managed most effectively on tracks such as Buy Yourself A Dream which takes a sublime melody and builds it up, up and up until it fills your very consciousness. Incidentally, yes that is a Scottish accent on McAdam’s voice, but do not say Travis. Why? Because these songs have more than one dimension to them.

The album starts loud, Bound To Lose combines punch and verve with the type of chorus that would make any recently separated teen weep into their box of discarded love letters. We then pause for thought with acoustic ballad My Drug which, if you’ll pardon the pun, is rather addictive, centring around the message “you are my drug” which McAdam enforces with vigour.

There are easily eleven better tracks on the album than Standing Watching, a baffling choice for release as a single in my book. Somehow the threat “when I find you I’m gonna f**k you up” delivered by a guy who counts Cream, Radiohead and Neil Young as primary influences, doesn’t quite sit with me.

Perhaps one of the most stirring yet simple points of the album is the falsetto-strewn Buy Yourself A Dream, the kind of song that leaves any other recording artist wondering how they did not come up with it first. Yet that’s entirely the reason why Cherryfalls work so well, they have the art of perceiving what the public want down to a fine tee.

The top track is also the most curiously named, El Pussy. Far be it from me to try and garner any meaning from this title, one thing I am sure of is that this is a simply wonderful end-of-album love song, complete with simple “Don’t forget me, don’t leave me” lyrics, sung in an achingly soulful manner that comes straight from the heart, not from any record label direction.

There will always be a shelf in that great HMV in the sky, reserved for the music able to tap into the melancholy of our dreams and fears, where would society be without it? This is an album that simply shines.

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Cherryfalls – Winter/Winter