The Hermit Crabs

The Hermit Crabs

The Hermit Crabs

Saw You Dancing

Matinee

Scotland’s The Hermit Crabs crib heavily from the dour indie pop notes of Camera Obscura, who learned their trade from Belle & Sebastian. This third-generation derivation means that while Saw You Dancing has all the makings of a solid, melancholy/summer album, there’s not a whole lot in the way of originality, or hooks for that matter. Guitars chime, the rhythm section skips or lopes along, depending, in bright optimism or sighing embarrassment. Tracks like “Closet Fan” have a perfect quiet confessional tone of romantic obsession like Camera Obscura’s best work, but the shuffling minimal arrangement also treads too close to that band’s “Eighties Fan.” This mid-tempo beat keeps a steady, unchanging thread throughout the majority of the disc’s tracks (“Friend’s Folk Festival” and “Feel Good Factor” being two of the more solid offerings). It’s an undoubtedly fun and breezy album that will help thaw the frost and usher in spring, but when June rolls around, you’ll probably want to opt for Belle & Sebastian’s “A Summer Wasting” rather than The Crabs’ “Lean, Free Summer.”

Matinee Recordings: www.indiepages.com/matinee

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