Songdog: A Life Eroding

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Aidan Williamson

27th April 2010
At 15:47 GMT

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...Speaking of eroding, before even one note is played, a lot of damage has already been done to the reputation of Songdog. First of all, there's the name.

Now, folk-tinged bands have rarely been noted for going beyond the call of duty in monikers, but we perhaps think they could have done better than something which sounds like a cheap-and-cheerful Spotify clone. Then, there's the fact that the band are thrust towards us with the proclamation of their "combin[ing] acoustic and electronic instruments".

Such a hybrid comparison immediately draws up thoughts of German folktronica legends The Notwist, famed for their masterful ambidextrous handling of the two genres to create genuinely original and daring music. Then, of course, there are numerous allusions to front-man Lyndon Morgans' career in the theatre.

Sadly, the imagination can concoct so much more with those ingredients than that which eventually appears on our plate.The theatrical flourishes are present, with vocalist Morgans occasionally embellishing his delivery with elements straight out of musical-theatre, yet for the most part you're greeted with modestly impressive folk music. Nothing more, nothing less. There's a darkness to the lyricism which is compelling and Morgans' tales of 'The Three L's' (love, life, loss) are just as woeful and enlightening as many others who've walked the same pathways.

Indeed, the narrative structure of each of the songs is likely to provide the main attraction for the album. The music itself is pleasant and serviceable - rarely rising above such descriptions, or conversely, dipping below - and carries along the tales well. So in its redefinition as a compendium of vignettes conveying the harshness and beauty of life, A Life Eroding scores well.

Enter its orbit with no pre-established expectations and you shalt be rewarded with a serenade to the simpler times, times which remain the fevered nostalgic dreams of folk musicians with a story to tell.

Rating:  7 / 10

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