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This Is Our Art

The Soup Dragons

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Album Review

Many bands would kill for a song as immediately lovable as the Soup Dragons' "Soft As Your Face" from This Is Our Art; however, while the track reveals the group's ability to craft clever, hummable pop, the rest of the LP unveils the band's lack of punch. "Soft As Your Face," with its jaunty acoustic guitars and warm harmonies, outshines almost everything else on the album. On "Kingdom Chairs," vocalist Sean Dickson tries to imitate the snarl of a '60s garage rocker; unfortunately, he isn't convincing, and the group sounds anemic, unable to unleash the raw power necessary to make the song crackle. The Soup Dragons aim for the punk-pop of the Buzzcocks on "Great Empty Space," but the lyrics fail to make an impact. The band cranks up the amps even louder on "Passion Protein," veering closely to heavy metal, and they seem as if they're trying too hard to show that they're not a wimpy new wave act. The Soup Dragons are far more effective when they're gorging themselves on bubblegum like the sweet jangle pop of "Soft As Your Face" and "Turning Stone." The Soup Dragons bite off more than they can chew on This Is Our Art; nevertheless, "Soft As Your Face" and "Turning Stone" melt in the mouth like the most delicious candy.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Before Scotland's Soup Dragons hit the mainstream with their reggae-infused cover of the Rolling Stones' "I'm Free," the Glasgow four-piece were poised to carry the torch first lit by the Buzzcocks and the Adverts. Formed in the mid-'80s around singer/guitarist — and eventual programmer — Sean Dickson, the band included guitarist Jim McCulloch, bassist Sushil Dade, and drummer Ross Sinclair. Their punk-pop debut, Hang-Ten!, consisted of two years worth of singles and EPs — the shorter...
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This Is Our Art, The Soup Dragons
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