Balance the Light

Rock Indiana/Sound Asleep Records

FETED in Spain and other countries abroad, Edinburgh-based Dropkick have not always had the recognition they deserve in their native Scotland. Balance the Light is the 14th album by this harmony-driven, alt-country powerpop band (as they describe themselves), and those who have yet to latch onto them are surely missing something special. There are lots of fine hooks and compelling melodies scattered across the 10 tracks that make up this concise CD, with traces here and there of bands as diverse as Wilco, the Jayhawks and Teenage Fanclub. Dropkick also continue to make clever use of synths and organ, which were absorbed into the line-up a few years ago. The opening track, Save Myself, underlines the band’s increasing self-confidence and adventurous spirit, yearning harmonies giving way, halfway through, to a long and irresistible crescendo. I Wish I Knew, and Wake Me In the Morning, are two of the loveliest songs Dropkick have written, while the final track, Think for Yourself, sounds uncannily like a lost song by Neil Young and Crazy Horse from the mid-seventies, even down to its guitar break. Indie, powerpop, accomplished harmonies, alt.country tendencies. What’s not to love?

Russell Leadbetter