Since Belle & Sebastian swiped the Best Newcomer Brit Award from under the button noses of Steps and 5ive ten years ago, twee has been on the rise. Largely, this has been no good thing. Club nights with crustless sandwiches, girls in polka dots and boys in braces are just the sickening side effect of jangly songs about he-meets-she and wins her thanks to his until now underappreciated homemade cupcakes. Yuk! As The Pains For Being Pure At Heart have proven this year, when twee pop is fuzzed up it can be swooning with brilliance, but, as ‘Received Pronunciation’ counters, clean guitars, joined by flat, endlessly-lamenting vocals, too often make for an indifferent listening experience. You half want this Boston trio to grow a backbone, but, then, the samey picked out chord shapes don’t even invoke that simple sense of longing.

By Mandy Drake

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