Image © Psychocandy 2008
Dance Dance Baby (2006)
(07 February 2009) The 2008 thirteen track album by Beangrowers is entitled Not In A Million Lovers (Psychocandy (USA), 2008). It is the Malta-based band's fifth album. Beangrowers is Alison Galea (vocals, guitar), Mark Sansone (bass) and Ian Schranz (drums). The album was produced and recorded by David Vella at Temple Studios, Malta. The oboe and cor anglais on "Ours Is A Small Flat is performed by John McDonough.
Beangrowers last album Dance Dance Baby was not their debut, but was the first of their albums to gain a wide release and thus represented most people's introduction to the trio. And what an introduction it was, revealing them to be one of the finest and most refreshing bands around. The album managed to extract the best of punk, new wave and goth, combining these darker elements with a lightness of touch and some sublime choruses and melodies to create joyously original and uplifting songs.
Dance Dance Baby was a disc that grabbed you right from the start and simply wouldnít let go. The songs that make up their follow-up album Not In A Million Lovers use, for the most part, a more subtle approach, sneaking up behind before slipping their hooks into you. Whilst the punk and new wave references are still there, they are less obvious, more cunningly disguised.
The main means by which they achieve this is by occasionally going beyond the drums, bass and voice/guitar that is the bandís signature and introducing some subtle and subdued strings and keyboards. This has enabled the band to create a greater range of atmospheres--as on the gorgeous "Captain Darling"--and "Ours Is A Small Flat" is also blessed with some lovely woodwind courtesy of John McDonough." This approach hasnít been overdone however and the band still rock out on songs like "Untitled Forever," "Love Can Do You No Harm" and "Depths Of Bavaria" for example. Overall itís an excellent balance.
The songwriting maintains the high standard they achieved on Dance Dance Baby and with titles like "Good Band Bad Name," an accusation that has been levelled at Beangrowers, and the wonderful closer "Life's A Bitch Then She Sings In Your Band" they also display a wicked and self-deprecating sense of humour so good to see in an industry where so many artists take themselves far too seriously. Check out their music on MySpace.
Not In a Million Lovers whilst retaining much that made Dance Dance Baby such an exceptional album,
also shows musical progression, and if the album is not as immediate as its predecessor, ultimately it is every bit as satisfying.--Jamie Field in Kington, England