Tag Archives: The Guild League

365. Various Artists – “Flipside”

Another I missed back in the Fs.

Here’s the third of five Candle Records compilations in my collection.  It came pretty late in the Candle epoch, and was perhaps the most outlandish and adventurous collective action from the label.

While the acts on the roster were predominantly of a simple and gentle bent (musically) with a preference for the organic rather than electronics, the strummed rather than the programmed, this CD saw them handing their precious tracks over to knob twiddlers and song transformers.

What I’m saying is that this is the remix album probably no Candle fans had been holding out for. Before you get too excited, the outcome is not exactly dancefloor fodder (beyond perhaps some demented kindergarten – hmmm, is ‘demented’ superfluous there?).  Typically the tracks have had their strings stripped out with a slightly faster backing of beeps and squeaks parachuted in.

It works most effectively when former Tlot O. Bolwell reunites with Stanley to funk up the classic Ruck Rover track about newsreaders. Guild League‘s Siamese Couplets becomes very cheesy, while Pipas take the LucksmithsHow to Tie to Tie dangerously close to Architecture in Helsinki land (fear not, it retains a melody however).

All in all, this is a curiosity for Candle completists, but not likely to change your world.

File under: Better than a B-side

G, that was fast

In the blink of an eye, the letter G has been knocked off in our journey towards Z. This was the fastest letter so far, with 37 reviews in 36 days. See what happens when I finish teaching.

G was a revelation. It doesn’t get as much attention in my life as it should (the perils of being bottom shelf on that particular rack). The Top 10 shows a very strong Aussie flavour with 7/10 CDs local treasures.

  1. Gersey – “Hope Springs”
  2. Grandview – “Room 15”
  3. Golden Rough – “This Sad Paradise”
  4. The Guild League – “Private Transport”
  5. The Guild League – “Inner North”
  6. Gossip – “Music for Men”
  7. Gossip – “Standing in the Way of Control”
  8. Mary Gauthier – “Mercy Now”
  9. The Grates – “Gravity Won’t Get You High”
  10. Gersey – “Storms Dressed As Stars”

I’m gonna do a bit of housekeeping (i.e. a few reviews of recent purchases and albums I spotted on the vinyl and compilation shelves from A-F) before diving into H. I can tell you that this artist will be one of the early subjects in H-land (but not this song which is off an EP):

357. The Guild League – “Inner North”

Tali White headed home for this album… in a physical sense, in terms of song content and also with respect to sound.

This sounds much more like a long-lost Lucksmiths album. The experimentation is toned down. The pace is a more consistent. What distinguishes it is Tali’s ongoing growth as a songwriter.  He carefully crafts tunes that feel far from throwaway.

There’s nothing as in-your-face poppy as in the debut. Citronella comes pretty close. Shot in the Arm is a regretful hangover tune which is far faster than anything you’d want to encounter on such a morning. Time Please Gents captures the start of the counterbalancing languorous night before.

Scientists takes the self-centredness of loving couples to a new, astronomical level. Animals turns the Bloodhound Gang’s twee.

Like the Luckas, the Guild League are a little weather obsessed. Shirtless Sky and The Storm are cases in point:

This has been a perfect soundtrack for sitting in our study watching the world go by (and our painters finishing the facade).  Our absence of front door (getting stripped) has meant the weather has been suitably chilly too.

File under: Get some Northern exposure

(I have been slack and not picked the Guild League’s third release.  I will do so, but in the meantime check out my younger bro’s take on it.)

356. The Guild League – “Private Transport”

It’s been mighty cold and pretty damp in Melbourne town over the past week. At such times, my thoughts turn to numerous grey days I have spent under London skies on my various stays there.

This album is a perfect soundtrack to such feelings.

The Guild League is the vehicle Lucksmiths lead-singer Tali White established to showcase his song-writing and to explore more complex, layered music.

He’d been doing a lot of travelling from a London base during that time. The songs herein capture the joy of exploring new surrounds, and the sadness of love long- distance.

The music swings between upbeat, at times, downright funky (Jet Set Go! and Siamese Couplets) numbers, to wonderfully melancholy string compositions.

Tali has always had a silky sweet voice, but here we also get to see his skill at wordplay and imagery (Cosmetropolis is a treat). He hooks up with a whole gang of collaborators who construct some mesmerising soundscapes and jaunty numbers. The cello, handclaps and layered vocals on Faraway Place are truly ambitious.

This album is not perfect. Its pacing is a little awkward and a couple of tunes are regular ‘skips’, but every backpacker should have it loaded into their iPod.

The band didn’t deign to make any videos, so I did (!):

File under: Moving