Gaoler’s Daughter – How To Make Time (album) (self-released)
‘How To Make Time’, the debut full length album from South London’s Gaoler’s Daughter, is choc-full of melodic and solidly-crafted indie-rock numbers with a similar appeal to that of ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ by Phoenix.
The success of the quartet’s three previous singles last year and their growing live reputation led to the band picking up the tour support for Babyshambles throughout the UK as well slots with Graham Coxon and We Are Scientists at several prestigious venues and festivals across the UK and Europe.
The band’s singles were championed by Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, John Kennedy, Tom Robinson, Mary Anne Hobbs, Tom Ravenscroft, Rich Walters, The Selector’s Goldierocks (amongst other UK taste-makers) and clocked up four Hype Machine #1 spots.
While ‘How To Make Time’ boasts a clear pop sensibility, there’s also substance to this record ensuring it’s more than a simple “listen once and discard” release. While yes it is an “indie-rock” album for lack of a better phrase, ‘How To Make Time’ can’t be written off so easily. There’s lots of interesting choices and the album showcases a mixed bag of influences. Aside from the obvious Phoenix comparison, there’s also more subtle influences at play.
What really gives the album a unique character and gives it an edge is the guitar work threaded through the tracks – in addition its indie-rock riffs, there’s also classic-rock (“3 Days Rain”), Echo and The Bunnymen-like textures (“How Do You Know”), Arctic Monkeys style groove (“How Do You Know”), Sonic Youth-like grit, and even folk (“Cuddling A Cigarette”).
Opening track “St. Peter”begins with a riff that would be right at home during the 90’s grunge era (think Dinosaur Jr.) era before the song quickly evolves into The Kooks territory throughout the verses and later into an brilliant, danceable and undeniably Phoenix-esque chorus.
The melodic guitar work in “The Invisible Man” adds an interesting quirk to the otherwise Phoenix style indie-rock, somehow giving off an 80’s Rick Springfield flavour.
How Do You Know” summons Echo and The Bunnymen before steering into a dark and riff-heavy verse that recalls latter day Arctic Monkeys. Its sugar-coated chorus however continues to demonstrate the band’s keen knack for pop melodies. Likewise, “3 Days Rain” yet again draws a Phoenix comparison, at least vocally, paired with Echo and The Bunnymen tremolo-echo flavours.
“Eternal Bliss” is another riff-y number but shows hints of alt-country in addition to the previously mentioned Kooks. The chord progression of “Cut and Dry” is an odd one and here the band’s (not so) subtle 80’s influence rears its head again. As the most direct and high-tempo track, “7th Wave” reveals hints of a Franz Ferdinand charm vocally backed by thick and murky power-chords.
Acoustic closing number “Cuddling A Cigarette” is a genuinely vintage sounding folk song, and like the equally surprising, calypso flavoured “When We Were Young” several songs before it, Goaler’s Daughter show that not only is there more to them than meets the eye but that they’re not afraid to break whatever mold has been set.
‘How To Make Time’, is set for release on 26 August, 2013 while the single, ‘Cordelia’, was released on 12 August, 2013.
The band is currently offering the album’s first track, “St. Peter”, as a free download. Listen to the track below: