Arnold

The three man, dreamy textured, harmony-laden British band Arnold weaves a blend of pop music that is ultimately singular: The heartfelt lyrics are incisive, the loose playing is lush. Originally called Patio, the band's singer died suddenly but the trio-Mark Saxby, guitar; Phil Payne, bass; Phil Morris, vocals and drums-pressed on and dubbed themselves Arnold after Payne's dog. In 1997, the Creation label fronted them the money for a demo tape and ended up releasing the songs as they were recorded as a debut 6 track CD, The Barn Tapes. Morris, who at times bears a vocal resemblance to David Gilmour, writes the majority of songs with Saxby tackling lyrics but the group claims to be a democratic bunch. Live, they use Morris on guitar, Rob Ariss on keyboards and a stand-in drummer. On the debut album, Hillside (Creation, 1998), they mined the vaults of luscious vintage pop along the lines of Big Star and the Beatles, much like U.K. contemporaries Teenage Fanclub and Radiohead, but also sliced in a bit of American-indy slow and dronecore, still favoring lo-fi recording techniques.
Denise Sullivan, Rovi

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