With a name like the Katydids and an album title like Shangri-La, you'd probably expect standard-issue jangle pop from this band — until, that is, you listen closer and realize the title is taken from a song about a dying heroin addict. The song is called "The Boy Who's Never Found," and it opens the album with an unsettling melody and a dark lyrical undercurrent of anger at the waste of life it describes. Things lighten up after that, of course, and the balance of the album does indeed consist mostly of standard-issue jangle pop — luscious confections like "Seesaw" and "Almost and Nearly." The Katydids may be a bit derivative (there's more than an echo of the Primitives here, for instance), but what's impressive about this group's sophomore effort is its ability to add a new edge to the tired guitar pop genre. Just when you think you're going to swoon with pleasure from the sweet harmonies and hook-filled choruses, you run into something more slippery and ambiguous, like the melody to "Slip Away." Very nice.
A very nice, but unfortunately short-lived, south London acoustic pop quintet, the Katydids shared an affinity with contemporaries like Fairground Attraction and the Bible. American-born singer Susie Hug and guitarist Adam Seymour met in 1987 when both were working as session musicians for the short-lived duo Big Bam Boo; the pair's rapport was obvious, and they were soon working together. Adding acoustic guitarist Dan James, bassist Dave Hunter, and drummer Shane Young, the Katydids signed with... Full bio