A Minor Revival

(Microindie; 2004)

By Aaron Newell | 22 October 2007

“Polite” does not begin to describe this album. Sodastream’s “Karl and Pete” will take shifts charming your pants off and apologizing for same. Concocted in Perth, and shifted to Melbourne shortly thereafter, Sodastream have released a series of full-lengths documenting a very gradual progression in rootsy shoe-gaze---Practical Footwear (1998) to Turnstyle (1999) to Looks Like a Russian (2000) to the Hill for Company (2001)). Often belittled as a Stuart Murdoch soundalike, vocalist Karl Smith is actually your witty, charming favourite cousin who never takes a good joke too far. This is porch music that is beautifully understated (even though it’s the rawkiest Sodastream album to date, and the only to forefront a percussion section)---not at all unlike Iron & Wine’s Our Endless Numbered Days (2004), for instance. And this album is even more interesting alone in your headphones.

Standout “Blinky” starts off with worried acoustic guitars and stuttering jazz percussion, but relaxes its way into contented horns, and trots into the chorus: “Why hold steady / when the future’s in the walls / but the malls are coming back? ”Chorus Line” is an adorable ballad that teases with hints of campfire singalong, and Peter’s bowed-bass---featured on every song---perfectly compliments the clap-along aesthetic of “Undone." A Minor Revival is a brilliant, near-perfect addition to the newly-bulging pop-roots indie canon.