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The Left Outsides

And Colours In Between

(Self-released; US: 19 Dec 2007; UK: Available as import)

Their aesthetic is easy to admire: a U.K. two-piece (Alison Cotton and Mark Nicholas) who record their own brand of patented indie-folk on their own terms: writing their own songs, producing their own records, and selling straight-from-their-hard-drive CD-Rs at shows. What’s less admirable is the music itself: here is a band that—despite lovely touches of violin—writes the same songs over and over again: drawn-out, droning acoustic laments that maintain the sound of an “acoustic My Bloody Valentine” while retaining none of the dynamics. The group’s sound feels more fleshed out, however, when they give in to their itching psychedelic inclinations, particularly with “The Chameleon” (complete with wind-chime breakdown at the end), and the breathtaking instrumental piece “I Fear That I Have Lost My Way”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Left Outsides or their music; they just tend to implode with preciousness a majority of the time, eliciting more yawning fans than fawning ones.

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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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