Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Ireland - Full Moon 192 - 05/06/12

Olympus Sound
1969 Records/Lojinx/EMI

This album was originally released in the band's native Ireland back in August of last year. It's only recently, though, that the rest of the world has had the chance to participate.

Now that XTC is long gone it's nice to know that Pugwash has picked up the baton. It's very easy and convenient to put Pugwash in the XTC bag. Some of the melody lines and vocal phrasings follow the same paths. Both Dave Gregory and Andy Partridge of XTC have been involved in Pugwash's music and whereabouts and both of them participate on Olympus Sound. Andy Partridge has even written one of the songs of the album "Here We Go Round Again" along with Pugwash's main writer and tunesmith Thomas Walsh. But there are other songs here like "Answers On A Postcard", "There You Are", "15 Kilocycle Tone", "See You Mine (Coda)" and "Four Days" that in between sound even closer to XTC. And our chef here at Luna Kafé gave me a word that "Dear Belinda" seems very inspired by the late Gerry Rafferty (of Stealers Wheel and "Baker Street" fame).

Of course it's an easy way out to compare one band or artist with others that are better known. Well, at least it gives a clue what we're dealing with. Anyways, as long as Pugwash can conjure up pop melodies of the exquisite 1960s heritage kind accompanied by thoughtful lyrics (some of them dealing with Thomas Walsh's past vices, I guess), it's more than good enough for me. There can hardly be too many of them around and there hardly are these days.

Thomas recorded the first demos for the album on an Olympus voice recorder. Guitarist etc. Tosh Flood used them for some of his instrumental parts that ended up on the album. Thus the album title. Despite the fact, Olympus Sound can occasionally sound a bit too polished for its own good in my opinion. On the other hand, with the use of instruments like Mellotron and kazoos they can't really fail.

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