Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Sandboys “Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks”

If you take the sound of the ukulele and add it to the sound of the cello, you’d end up with a style that could be called cellele music. And in reality, that is just what the music of British duo The Sandboys (a pairing consisting of Mark Miller and Ben Harrison) calls their sound- cellele music. The combination of the two instruments created a style that could be interpreted as being influenced by Topical Island sounds, or as having a very retro quality to it. Add in instruments used for making more Pop-Rock-like music and you have a rather unique blend. That unique sound can be found on the new 6-song EP entitled Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks.

Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks from The Sandboys begins with the album’s first track. “Wish for the Best” begins with a simple trumpet and ukulele as the band creates a track that feels rather retro in nature. And while it is very retro, the simplistic feel of the first part of the track allows for the base instruments to shine through. With the inclusion of the cello, piano and light percussion a bit later, the fuller sound of the music still has a throwback approach but now feels as fresh as Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

The release continues with the track “Drive You On”. While “Wish for the Best” could have been a track from the era of Vaudeville, “Drive You On” also contains a rather retro feel to it. But in this case, the resulting track would easily fit into the Skiffle category (a rather old style made famous by the likes of British musician Lonnie Donegan and others like him) as the song incorporates Jazz, Blues and a little Folk music influence. The fast-paced, bouncy feel on “Drive You On” makes for a track that would be perfect for fans of the Americana genre. Ultimately, the track would be perfect for fans of a band such as Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. 

Going in a much different direction from the previous two tracks, the song “Count Me In” finds the duo creating track that features a strong Two-Tone feel. The Ska-influenced track takes the listener back a few decades when the British Two-Tone style was big over in Great Britain. The resulting track of “Count Me In” actually brings to mind the sound and feel of an earlier song from that era in the sixties; a song that had become a standard of sorts within the Ska genre during that time , “Rudy (A Message To You)”. This Ska track of “Count Me In” lives up to the style of Two-Tone and is just the thing for fans of the style.

For the track “Like I Used to Be,” The Sandboys create a track that contains probably the most current sound on the release. The track features a sound that could either be described as Indie Rock or Folk Rock. The gentle pace to the track adds to the Folk influence. The strong harmony to the vocals on the track brings to mind songs from the late fifties, early sixties as they are reminiscent of vocal groups from the era. Together, the vocal delivery and the Indie Rock feel to the music create a track that has plenty of depth to it. While The Sandboys hail from Of all the tracks on the newest EP from The Sandboys, “Like I Used to Be” would probably the most welcome on commercial radio formats. 

The track “Path Of Least Resistance” continues the band’s unique blending of styles. The track begins with a style features a strong Pop feel. The track’s music begins with a gentle feel to the electric guitar while an accordion is added to give the track a bit of exotic flavor. The Pop feel mixed with the accordion creates a style that is reminiscent of Dean Martin’s music. The gentle feel of the song continues for half the track before finally picking up a little energy. The song and its musical blend ends up being one of the more unusual moments on the Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks release from The Sandboys.

The Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks release from The Sandboys comes to an end with the track “More Than Enough”. The track begins simply enough with just vocals the ukulele. As it goes along, the track builds and builds until the song contains ukulele, cello, finger snaps and organ. The musical combination creates a track that contains a bouncy feel to the beat, just like with “Drive You On” earlier in the EP. That bouncy feel along with the rest of the elements creates one of the more memorable moments on the EP and brings the release to a close on a strong note.

For only six tracks, Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks from The Sandboys contains a lot of different elements all working together to make an EP that draws from many different genres and eras of music. Blended together, those various elements make for a release that seems to have something for almost everyone.  

The Glitches, Imperfections and Glorious Quirks release from The Sandboys is still rather new. Because of that, the only YouTube video featuring new music from this release is “Wish For the Best“. However, this is a “ukulele only” version. You can find the entire EP on the band’s Soundcloud profile. 

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, Whiplash PR