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Saw You Dancing

The Hermit Crabs

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Album Review

On Saw You DancingThe Hermit Crabs share a drummer (Lee Thomson) with fellow Glasgow indie pop band Camera Obscura, they also share a sound — a lightly strummed, folky indie pop with simple hooks and a plaintive female voice fronting the operation. What they don't share is the same level of songcraft or a willingness to experiment with sound, two things that Camera Obscura excel at. Most of all though, the vocals come up short. Simply put, singer Melanie Whittle is no Tracyanne Campbell. She's a very good singer, no doubt about that, but she lacks the depth and emotional punch that Campbell easily conjures up. It's no crime to fail to measure up to your most obvious inspiration/competition as long as you bring something unique and interesting to the proceedings. The Hermit Crabs succeed at times on Saw You Dancing (a few of the tunes, like the sunny "Feel Good Factor," the nearly rocking "Bad Timing," and the quietly melancholic "Tonight" are memorable) but ultimately they are sunk by the songs that lack compelling hooks or interesting lyrics. They are doomed by comparison, too, because really there is no reason to listen to this album when you could reach for Camera Obscura instead.

Biography

Formed: Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When California Snow Story went on hiatus in 2003, drummer Mel Whittle put together the Hermit Crabs, a sweet, shambly twee pop project that gave a heavy nod to fellow Glasgwegians Camera Obscura and Belle & Sebastian. Over the course of the next three years the band's lineup expanded to include John Ferguson, Mark Waudby, and David Murray. The Hermit Crabs' first EP, Feel Good Factor, was released on Matinee in late 2006. Saw You Dancing, their debut full-length, came out the following year....
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Saw You Dancing, The Hermit Crabs
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