Saturday 11 August 2012

The Choo Choo Trains

They describe themselves as “girl-guide shoegaze” – which is neat, even though I’m not exactly sure what it means –and over 17 songs create their own universe. They remind me most of the Marine Girls, who did just what they wanted to simply and perfectly, mistakes and all.

You might call The Choo Choo Trains DIY, but forget any of that genre’s deliberate shoddiness: I’m certain they’re trying to sound the best they can on whatever resources they have. There’s the spirit of 60s girl group pop at the heart of this tape. Colours reaches for the Spector sound on a budget and Rocket Bicycle captures the innocence of the Brill Building sound with a wink to Carole King’s songwriting.

There’s a lot going on here. Remember Tracey Thorn saying that Beat Happening were “a band almost entirely in our [the Marine Girls] image”? Well, After School Fun snaps up those bands’ gaucheness and pop simplicity and presents it in their own style. There’s even a psych instrumental called Peppermint Gardener. You’ll discover your own reference points, but ultimately you’ll come back to The Choo Choo Trains, who are quietly self-contained.

These songs had me reaching – for the first time in years – for Solace and Des Garcons Ordinaires, from what may or may not have been a French indiepop scene 20 years ago. Information was scarce. They sounded special then, as The Choo Choo Trains do now. No idea where they’ll go next, but it’ll be fun finding out.


Didn’t you say something about their name? That was a month ago. A week is a long time in pop music; a month is an eternity.

Girl guides, eh? Have you got a photograph? Fuck off, you filthy pervert.

What are they like live? No idea. I hope to find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment