Shibuya Crossings – Doya (Depend On Your Alter-Ego)
April 28, 2011 by Pete RingMaster
NAME: Shibuya Crossings
ALBUM: Doya (Depend On Your Alter-Ego)
LABEL: Typically Magic Records
FIVE WORD REVIEW: Sunny indie pop and rock
LINE UP: Declan Harington (Vocals Guitar) Rob Toshman (Bass) Ian Escario (Drums)
WHAT’S THE STORY?: Picked out your track for the summer yet? Then look no further then the new single from Shibuya Crossings and for a total soundtrack maybe their forthcoming album ‘Doya (Depend On Your Alter-Ego)’. The single and opening track to the album is ‘At Eight In A Spanish Bar’ a full flavoured indie/pop song with joyful harmonies musically and vocally and engaging hooks that dance with sunshine. Previous single ‘Take It Out On Me’ immediately follows with the same mixture of irresistible joy. Both tracks with ripples of bands like Wheatus and Fountains Of Wayne shining within Shibuya Crossings own inviting waters. Both tracks full and with frills that give only one option which is to hear more from the band.
Debut album ‘Songs For Lovesick Teenagers’ came out way back in 2007 and was a different creature to the new album, being primarily a solo project for singer and main songwriter Declan Harrington. Feeling the need for a band to take the music out live he recruited Gareth Evans on Guitar, Rob Toshman on Bass and Ian Escario on drums and Shibuya Crossings was born. The leap in the songwriting and craftsmanship in the preceding years from the debut to this release is instantly obvious, the songs more rounded and fuller and bristling with independent thought and direction. The songs switch from indie pop to indie rock, the band with a foot in both camps and with other limbs elsewhere there is a good variation to their style and delivery.
‘You Know It Anyway’ drops the tempo a touch though it still strolls along nicely and keeps the light simple feel that appears through all songs, deceptive though that is as the tracks are constructed with much more depth than first seems apparent. Country rock track ‘I’ll Meet You At The Station’ ambles in next, a ballad that is nice but not much more. By the end it inspired comparisions with Snow Patrol, even Coldplay, well maybe it is not that bad, but unimpressive all the same. Things pick up again with ‘Gamla Stan’ and ‘Things We Say, We Don’t Always Mean’ with its great repeating hook. The singles are rivalled for best track on Doya by the rockier ‘If It Isn’t Getting Better’, a track that flies on good riffs and great vocal harmonies. The vocal harmonies throughout have a 60’s feel with echoes of The Beatles and even more so at times of The Monkees, it is better than that sounds honest. The final two tracks, ‘A Wonder Inside’ and ‘’Silver Nails That Haunt Me’ are both slow and soulful tracks but neither quite ignite like some of the previous songs. What is clear though is lyrically the songs are creative and suggestive of darker things making each track intriguing.
Doya is a solid and spirited album that stirs the listener into having fun and though maybe not as consistent as it might have been, with the blissful sounds of the singles and a few other tracks it is those high spots that should be concentrated on and not the parts that just miss the mark.
SOUNDS LIKE: Wheatus, Fountains Of Wayne, The Monkees
YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: you enjoy genuine joyful indie pop
Submitted By Pete RingMaster