Advanced Copy: Tango in the Attic

Jeff Yerger

What’s the biggest trend this year? Vampires? Even though Halloween’s over, America sure does love its vampires and anything that has to do with them. This might have something to do with Vampire Weekend’s popularity, or perhaps it could just be that their two albums are pretty darn good. Either way, something’s working for them, and apparently their music has caught the attention of the Scottish overseas.

Tango in the Attic, Scotland’s answer to Vampire Weekend, has been building a solid reputation overseas, performing at large festivals and spreading the joy with their bright melodies. Unfortunately, here in the United States, we haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to these lads from the Scottish plains.

Luckily, they will release “Bank Place Locomotive Society” in the United States in late November, and it couldn’t come a moment too soon. We’ve been so caught up with Vampire Weekend (and rightfully so) that it’s easy to forget about similar bands making great debuts overseas, in Scotland nonetheless.

The album is full of upbeat, energetic and danceable little numbers. There’s really nothing too heavy that will test your mind here, but that’s this debut’s charm. It’s just a couple of Scotsmen making some fun music in the midst of the rough times.

The band cites Paul Simon and The Velvet Underground as their influences, but make no mistake, they sound more like the Fratellis started a Vampire Weekend tribute band. Sure, the Vampire Weekend comparison is becoming trite already, but it’s undeniable.

“Bank Place Locomotive Society” is garage-pop at its finest. Tango in the Attic don’t try to get too fancy here, but they sound really tight. “Off Tow…” thrives off of a familiar clean guitar loop with an incessant high-hat from the drums.

Vocalist Daniel Craig’s strong Scottish brogue adds character to each song, even when he gets to a point where you can’t understand a word he’s saying. It really doesn’t matter though, because on songs like “Seven Second Stare” or “Jackanory,” you’ll end up getting blissfully lost in the indie-dance frenzy behind him. The song “A Healthy Distraction,” while not as immediate as the first four songs before it, is one of the best songs on the album, and it wins you over with its airy keyboard line that dances nicely around the beat.

There are times on the album where the band stumbles off into boredom, becoming redundant at times, but not every album can be the perfect one.

Despite the occasional duds, Tango in the Attic’s debut isn’t half bad. Craig’s straightforward lyrics along with a few memorable melodies create a delightfully whimsical album that is sure to move some feet and grab some attention.