The Social Services - It’s Nothing Personal, It’s National Security (4 stars)

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The Social Services - It’s Nothing Personal, It’s National Security

(Stereo Test Kit)

With tongue firmly in cheek and sandwiches in knapsack, The Social Services head out on a jaunt round Popland to confirm that their frisky style is something pretty special. Two thirds Glaswegian, one third Swedish, the trio throw in some skip-along tunes, sing-along choruses and smirk-along lyrical conceits that at points, put you in mind of (in spirit if not exactly sonically) the best bits of The Divine Comedy, Camera Obscura and British Sea Power.

Playful, but bittersweet, their songs celebrate such Scottish geographical phenomena and cultural landmarks as the Electric Brae and Edinburgh’s much lamented club La Belle Angele but manage to avoid being too sickly or twee. There’s even space for politics and even moments of sweeping melancholy that gives this album more depth than the rambunctious surface vibe might first suggest.

Be A Familiar, Mitchell Museum, Washington Irving, Palace Ballet and Call Me Ishmael

Be A Familiar have been compared to Idlewild and Arcade Fire. Support from lo-fi indie outfit Mitchell Museum amongst others.

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