Y Niwl describe themselves as “the first Welsh language instrumental surf band”, which brings to mind Flight Of The Conchord’s self-declaration as “New Zealand’s fourth most popular novelty folk act”. It’s clear there’s an element of self-mockery about this group, but they obviously take their music pretty seriously. Album opener “Undegpump” is pure Tarantino soundtrack, instantly conjuring images of a dancing Uma Thurman drawing her fingers across her face. The whole record has a vintage sound, awash with twangy Beach Boys guitar solos. And yes, they are an instrumental band, but the hazy waves if ‘Undegdau’ really cry out for some lyrics. ‘Deg’ is bright, poppy and synth-y, while the swirling Hammond of ‘Saith’ has a touch of sixties Mod about it. Well-executed and melodically great, but about as groundbreaking as a broken hammer, ‘Y Niwl’ is destined to remain in the background.

Chris Watkeys

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