>Unresearched Glib Pop Music Theory #235680: the act of hearing music has a closer resemblance to the act of smelling than any other sense. Perhaps this seemingly ludicrous claim should be qualified a little. Smell is almost indescribable in any terms other than other smells. Wines, for example, smell of freshly mown lawns, tarmac melting on hot days and hedgerow blossoms.
Melted chocolate smells wonderful because it smells of melted chocolate. It’s self-referential. So is music, cutting, as it does, to the pin-prick centre of your mind/heart/soul – wherever you feel like your most base feelings are housed.
I saw this demonstrated when my 70 year old grandfather, a calm, placid soul if there ever was one, leapt from his chair and danced like a carefree youth on his old orange and yellow living-room carpet, when an old 45 of Mockingbird by Charlie and Inez Foxx was slipped onto the record player. It was like time travel for me – a glimpse of the man he once was – clapping, stamping and hip-swivelling and all. Only a few of our senses can do that, when triggered.
So what will click in you when you hear Today’s New Band, Screaming Maldini? They make the kind of pop-driven tunes that shimmer breezily and also have enough nous to make them several quirky notches above the bland MOR purgatory that such songs can sometimes inhibit.
Secret Sounds is deceptively complex, seemingly a swift jaunt through tinkling pop territory; a closer listen reveals a song that delights in folding in on itself over and over, until compressed into a rough indie diamond. The brass stylings of The Extraordinary casts an eye over its influences that is alternatingly suave and relaxed and then inquisitively scatterbrained. Monkey See Badger Do strikes out from the first squeak of its endearingly wandering melody, and is crazier than a box of frogs.
Orchestral, lush and endlessly inventive, Screaming Maldini stopped worrying about whether they were trying to do too much and just bunged it all in the mix. In doing so, they have hit upon their own magic formula and out has spilled a number of unusual pop songs. Great! Listen here!