Twelve String High Volume Two review – A Hard Day’s Jangle

So you didn’t buy Volume One then? You chump. Apparently the wonderful state of the world jangle pop album from earlier in the year has now sold out – on vinyl at least. Discogs is your best bet.

That particular volume was a fantastic mixture of established janglers like The Junipers and Parson Red Heads alongside some intriguing obscurities from the likes of Arvidson & Butterflies and Elvyn.

So volume two, another round up from Spain via You Are The Cosmos Records, has pretty big shoes to fill. To make things trickier, there’s no doubling over between the two albums – volume two boasts 24 news new janglers.

There have been some other changes too. For starters the vinyl comes with a free CD of the tunes which is a very nice touch. In some ways it is a little more diverse too. There are a few cover versions (more on those in a moment) alongside tracks in French and Spanish and even an instrumental as a closer.

There has been a subtle shift too in the the style of music. Volume one was pretty much all about The Byrds in their various guises. For volume two YATC has lined up many bands who worship at the altar of mid period Beatles. There are some interesting diversions along the way but this really ought to be subtitled A Hard Day’s Jangle.

So if you love your power pop with a side of twelve string action you have probably found your dream album. Just like last time too, not many of these tunes are available on Spotify and a good chunk have been specifically recorded for the album.

So highlights. Well for Beatles obsessed power pop lovers the instant classic is Ronnie D’Addario’s (Lemon Twigs papa) Time Will Tell On You – which has one of his trademark (and very clever) bridge like choruses. In a similar vein is Mary Says by Love Minus Zero an Aussie band whose great tune has resided in the vaults since the late 80s. It has a lovely Mock Turtles feel to it and some Penny Lane Piccolo too. Great to see too the excellent Hangabouts make the cut with Cricket Time, a jolly slice of fabs- flecked Anglophilia from their recent to notch Kits And Cats And Saxons Wives album. And US band The Parties get top marks too for Velvet Love Affair.

I mentioned the covers earlier too and Jack Ellister’s take on The Open Mind’s Magic Potion is a corker. He slows it down and jangles it up. It works brilliantly. Starry Eyes and Laughing contribute a stirring version of Dylan’s Forever Young which saw the light of day on their odds and sods album from a few years back. Then there’s Robyn Gibson, who, without his Junipers, delivers a lovely take on The Byrds 5D.

Tunes that diverge significantly from the Beatles For Sale template include The Green Seagull’s Not Like You And Me. Think bendy organs and odd time changes like The Peanut Butter Conspiracy or Love Exchange, and The Jac’s Disconnected, a wonderful tune from an Aussie band with a great chorus.

Honorary mentions too to Tommy Lorente’s perky garage pop, Mirabelle, which might just have the best solo on the album and Spain’s Star Trip who close the album with the gentle instrumental Viaje Estrella #1.

It’ll be interesting to know if YATC have deliberately pushed the power pop Beatley tunes to the fore this time – or whether that approach emerged organically. Either way if you love 60s pop, jangly guitars and harmonies then this is, like volume one, essential.

Get it here or if you are in the UK here.

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