Sargasso Trio - Burnin, Burnin, Burnin (Boy Scout)

03 Apr 2008

"a bright, lively band with acres of musical ability, pulling some interesting and possibly unique shapes..."; release - '08
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Sargasso Trio - Burnin Burnin BurninShaving a 40 piece marching band down into a trio must be a horrendous task. All the tears before bedtime, split milk and temper tantrums as those who do not make the grade fall by the wayside. But that is exactly what the Sargasso Trio have done. Formed from the ashes of Norwich's fleet footed samba ensemble, the group have gone on to create and present their own version of warped English folk-pop; filtering vocal harmonies and scrumpy cider through the medium of country guitars, Casio keyboards and timeless emotion to create an album of idiosyncratic beauty.

Definitely a sum of its parts, the trio - composed of Pete Murdoch (vox, guitar, percussion and keyboard) Emily Siddall (vox, guitar, keyboard, drums) Ben Winn (vox, drums, keyboard) - alternate vocal duties and share composing credits. They mix country, Latin and 80's electro with aplomb to craft engaging and lucid pop numbers that never outstay their welcome. Each is short, concise and focused - with only 'Get Workin' On Me' and 'Man Walks' straying significantly over the three minute mark.

The lyrics and laced with humour and charming wit, and the whole album carries itself with controlled poise. Among the highlights is 'It's Hot in Hell', where Siddall takes the lead vocal. Sounding akin to a more credible Morcheeba, the track is under two minutes long, filled with a summer vibe and ideal for lazy Sunday afternoons.

'You Make Me Sweat' also stands out - its buzzing bass line matched with a delicate keyboard coda to create the propulsion over which Pete Murdoch delivers an ode to the benefits of team work. Man Walks is a slower lament to the inevitable passing of time. Mournful guitars pluck out the footsteps of a slow, irresistible decline, with Siddall again stepping up to the microphone. The number reveals a previously unseen dynamic, adding a depth of emotion to the album which is hidden under the sprightly ditties earlier on.

n stage the group use a red saucepan as a percussion instrument, as well as bottles and customised rhythm shoes to create their textured sound. And this is in keeping with their playful and beguiling style. The Sargasso Trio are a bright, lively band with acres of musical ability, pulling some interesting and possibly unique shapes.

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