Bright Star – 2001 – 42 minutes
The Reindeer Section are a loose collective of Glasgow based musicians and Snow Patrol from Belfast. Not a supergroup in the traditional sense, more like an uber-indie band. With 15 members, from groups like Arab Strap, Belle & Sebastian and Mogwai, their first album, 'Y'all Get Scared Now, Ya Hear' is a real treat.
The brainchild of Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, the album was recorded in just ten days. It came about after a drunken meeting of minds among this rag-tag bunch of misfits and miscreants who dominate the Glasgow music scene.
The diverse talents that the group possesses are showcased without ever seeming contrived. Tracks like opener 'Will You Please Be There For Me' are the musical equivalent of fine china - fragile and beautiful. The vocals are perfectly complimented by simple guitar riffs and minimal production.
While the album is dominated by haunting vocals and melodies, the Reindeer Section can, and do, rock. 'Tout Le Monde' shows they are more than capable of getting people off their bums and jumping around. However that song is an exception and the material does seem a bit repetitive at times.
This repetitiveness might be due to the fact that Lightbody wrote all the tracks in a few days. But that is perhaps too critical of an album which is a triumph given its conception and execution were so hurried. Jenny Reave of Eva is a real find, like a less whiny Cerys Matthews, and when she sings lead, as on 'Fire Bell', the effect is extraordinary.
The album is not perfect by a long shot. It is however a triumphant experiment that has created not a monster but a treasure. If they do nothing else again, they have shown that it does not take years to write, record and produce a fine album; mainstream indie bands should take note.
Tracklisting: Will You Please Be There For Me – The Opening Taste – 12 Hours It Takes Sometimes – Deviance – If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet – Fire Bell – If Everything Fell Quiet – I've Never Understood – Raindrop – Sting – Billed As Single – Tout Le Monde – Nightfall – The Day We All Died