The Heavy Blinkers The Night and I Are Still So Young

Six years and four albums into a career of channelling their love for the Beach Boys to a degree only matched by Sean O’Hagan’s High Llamas, The Night and I Are Still So Young finds the Halifax-based Heavy Blinkers’ familiar brand of chamber pop completely submerged in a post-Pet Sounds Wilson production aesthetic. Whereas their previous three records had several moments that would deviate from the otherwise stubborn mould, like Better Weather’s outstanding "I Used to Be a Design,” The Night is a uniform song cycle full of lush arrangements, cleverly layered vocals (the interplay between Jason, Ruth and Andrew is as strong as ever) and adequate, if not sometimes inconsequential, lyrics. For the most part, like the incredible title track and the beautiful, Love You-tinged "In the Morning,” the songwriting is impressive, though they falter slightly with "Try Telling That To My Baby” and "Silver Crown,” both of which come far too close to being saccharine overdoses. It isn’t that the Blinkers are basing their music solely on Wilson’s back catalogue of course, but their undeniable admiration of it does produce the most interesting aspects of their work, and considering how many groups fall flat on their face attempting the same feat, it will always be a rare and pleasant surprise to hear a group do it right. (Endearing)