The Scottish Enlightenment - Pascal (Armellodie)

There's respect aplenty with the Scottish rockers' new EP

Released Jun 1st, 2010 via Armellodie / By Brendan Morgan
The Scottish Enlightenment - Pascal (Armellodie) It’s only been a few months and already The Scottish Enlightenment have released another record. Each one is followed close behind by an assortment of nodding respect – the kind of respect reserved for established local legends, murmurs shared between people in the know. Once again, their new EP Pascal displays a further growth of their studious and noble soft rock.

Since their amalgamation three years ago, the band has been repeatedly likened to Pavement and this connection has followed them around the blogsphere like a phantom limb, though not without an element of truth. Their simple mix and slacker guitar style are sometimes identical to the original American losers. However, David Moyes’ slurring baritone marks them out. His leadership and what the rest of the band can do with so little is impressive. In an interview he talks of their progression over the last three years: “the kind of enforced maturing that comes from coming home from a gig with your ears humming and finding your wife up with a screaming baby.” His song writing is just as real and down-to-earth – none of your contrived Rock n’ Roll lifestyles here. The focus is on their surroundings and on celebrating normal life which, as we all know, is complex stuff.

Pascal’s sombre tone doesn’t exactly fire poetry from my fingertips but no matter. The EP is best explained by its confessional and dreamy flow. The opening title track, with its warm guitars and intimate reverb, is the musical equivalent of a comforting hug. Next, ‘If You Would Just Try a Bit Harder’ drifts gently like a boat through sleepy seas and after the rippling piano of ‘Riverbed’ comes ‘All Homemade Things’, a touching number that showcases their tuneful guitar arrangements. Unfortunately, even with a rising guitar solo and an appearance of harp, ‘To The Dogs’ is a long, drawn out ending and I found myself cutting it short.

Scotland seems like one of the only places left that still puts faith in the good ol’ four-piece; a structure that will never die, so long as some hard work is gone into stretching its capabilities. Besides a maturity and authenticity, you can hear a wise resignation in The Scottish Enlightenment’s music. It feels good to know that even in our fast moving world, there’s a band out there that have settled down with a family and don’t care if they don’t keep up.