Dodgy -‘Stand Upright In A Cool Place’ (Strike Back Records)
Nearly sixteen years since their third album, Free Peace Sweet, Dodgy are back together in their original line-up for their fourth album. It doesn’t pick up where they left off in 1997, when lead singer Nigel Clark left -and it’s all the better for it.
Interviewing drummer Mathew* Priest for this blog, he made it clear that they were older and they are three men in their forties. This album links with the Dodgy sound of yore, but there is no attempt to write another song in the vein of ‘Staying Out For The Summer’ or ‘In A Room.’ What comes to the fore more here is the melancholia that was often there beneath the surface in many of their hits in the 1990s.
Dodgy never sought to push the sonic envelope or repeatedly reinvent themselves – so it’s to their credit and respect that they have managed to convincingly evolve on this album. Comparisons might respectfully be drawn with both Crosby Stills Nash and Young or Fleet Foxes. The three-part harmonies are still here, thankfully, and there are some gorgeous tracks in the form of ‘What Became Of You,’ ‘Shadows’ and the single ‘What Became Of You.’
It may not spawn mega hits, festival singalongs or earn them a third NME front cover (though I could be wrong about all of these). What Dodgy have managed to do is to produce an album that they are rightly proud of, and I hope will capture the attention that it deserves.
Stand Upright In A Cool Place is released on Strike Back Records on February 20.
*yes, just one ‘t’