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Instant Coffee Baby

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Album Review

The Wave Pictures' Instant Coffee Baby bears an immediate and striking resemblance to the early Violent Femmes, from the scrappy, stripped down arrangements to Dave Tattersall's vocals of uncertain pitch and lyrics that occasionally skirt into levels of TMI that verge on uncomfortable. (The title track, in which Tattersall steals his ex's coffeemaker, includes a line in which he casually asks if her new boyfriend has given her cystitis.) Cranky late-era Brit-poppers Hefner, whose leader Darren Hayman uses the Wave Pictures as his backing band at his solo gigs and arranged the horn section on "I Love You Like a Madman," is another point of comparison, as is Scandinavian oddball Jens Lekman, whose quirky, conversational style of storytelling Tattersall recalls on loopy tracks like "Friday Night in Loughborough" and the ukulele-powered "I Remembered." There are moments of melancholy, including the unexpectedly sad country-tinged ballad "Red Wine Teeth" and "January and December," a wistful duet with Paris-based anti-folk singer Lisa Li-Lund, but the overall mood is wryly sardonic. The Wave Pictures are perhaps not quite good enough to shake off the ghosts of their obvious influences, but Instant Coffee Baby is a quirky and quite often appealing listen.


Formed: 1998 in Wymeswold, Leicestershire, Englan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Inspired by the tongue-in-cheek confessionalism of the Smiths and solo Morrissey and the scrappy D.I.Y. aesthetic of the C-86 school, the Wave Pictures began in 1998 in the tiny rural village of Wymeswold in northern Leicestershire, in Great Britain's East Midlands. Heavily influenced by their parents' classic rock record collections and John Peel's indie-centric radio show, lead singer and guitarist David Tattersall, bassist Franic Rozycki, and drummer Hugh J. Noble were first called Blind Summit,...
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Instant Coffee Baby, The Wave Pictures
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