Release Date: Jul 7, 2014
Record label: Fortuna Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Now at 22 years and counting, the only question anyone needs to ask about a new Comet Gain record is, have they lost it yet? The answer after the first few minutes of their seventh record, Paperback Ghosts, is a resounding "NO!" Everything that makes the group so special is fully intact: the anguish and the anger, the poetry and the hooks, the breathless rush of unguarded love laid bare, and the bruises raised by the crushing blows of life. The songs that reach into your chest and tear your heart out, the songs that inspire you to say "Yes!" The sound of a band making the music they want to because they have to. It's all here.
The title Paperback Ghosts speaks perfectly to the literary, fiction-like qualities of David Feck’s songwriting and to the gently nostalgic side of his long-running band Comet Gain’s music. Lyrically and musically they often look back to move forward. Paperback Ghosts, their seventh album, offers a perfect chance to witness, even indulge, in that.
Twenty years on the margins haven’t dampened Comet Gain’s spirits. Their seventh album finds the London indie veterans dusting their melancholy songs with hope and loveable melodies, each a compelling tale in its own right. This is literate, gentle rock in the vein of The Go-Betweens or Belle & Sebastian, with jangling guitars and strings making hazy summer soundtracks of ‘The Last Love Letter’ and ‘Sixteen Oh Four’, but on ‘Breaking Open The Head Part 1’ and ‘(All The) Avenue Girls’, the band launch into the kind of berserk psych-pop peddled by the Television Personalities or, more recently, MGMT.
Comet Gain – Paperback Ghosts LP (Fortuna Pop)You start to wonder after a while what it is that you see that the others don’t, why that is, and why nothing can be done about it. Cursed to the same fate as them, the understanding that you can’t bring across to everyone around you, the love and kinship you feel towards this imperfect band of souls.You start to think about why it worked for others but not for them, and in some ways for you. But Comet Gain can never be Belle and Sebastian, can never tour the world, inspire novels (the writing of, not the search through bookstores for pulp to fortify your condition), or be the winds at the backs of hopeful throughout their bright pursuits.
It was both a delight and a relief to hear news of a new Comet Gain record; as a band, they are such a genuine curio that you rather feel they should be preserved, like a listed building, for the enjoyment of future generations. I can’t really think of many legitimate points of comparison for the manner in which David Feck’s project has transcended genre lines - there’s been a fluidity to their output that’s seen them move between radically different scenes without compromising their integrity. Put it this way - in the past, they’ve counted ex-Huggy Bear man Jon Slade amongst their number, during a garage-punk period that saw Kathleen Hanna guest on one of their records.