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CD review: Second Hand Marching Band, A Hurricane, A Thunderstorm

Second Hand Marching Band

Second Hand Marching Band

A Hurricane, A Thunderstorm

(thesecondhandmarchingband.bandcamp.com)

The snappy snare drum, the tinkling glocks, the brassy horns… there's definitely something about the Second Hand Marching Band that does indeed bring to mind a high school band parading up and down the football field - if that parade was led by Stuart Murdoch with Sufjan Stevens one step behind and Bellowhead lagging far in the distance. It has taken four years for this hop-on-board Glasgow collective to marshal 17 people and 20 instruments on to one debut album proper, and the result is magnificent, smoothing the rough-and-ready edges of previous releases but losing none of their DIY energy. You'd put them in the same ballpark as King Creosote and Randolph's Leap, although there's even more of an ensemble sound at play here, giving the likes of Love Is A Fragile Thing its hearty singalong power. Great tunes weave through the length and breadth of the album, on the tender emotional swells of Mull and Spark, the textbook Scottish indie-pop of We Will Convince You and the epic, escalating heights of the title track.

Alan Morrison

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