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Van Susans - 'Bricks Not Sticks Or Straw' (Beatnik Geek) 4/5

Now last time UK indie hopefuls Van Susans crossed my inbox it was late last summer with their ep 'We Could Be Scenery', and I wasn't that impressed to be honest, with the exception of one stand out track I found it generic, and a bit a lacking in both direction and fire, so when this their new two track single arrived at BCFM central I was a bit apprehensive.

However I'm glad to say that this two tracker is an improvement by a country mile over that last ep. OK its still very student friendly indie rock, but these two tracks seam more mature, more rounded, better produced and more focused than their previous material. We have Bricks Not Sticks Or Straw itself, a sweet indie / alt rock anthem with a huge sing along chorus, a lovely chiming guitar riff and a slick and smooth lead line overlaying it. It's a track I can imagine going down a storm on a summers afternoon at certain festivals. The other track (or b-side / bonus track - call it what you will) is a nice pseudo celtic pop ballad called Disappear that has hints of Runrig or The Waterboys about it and features some tactful piano playing underpinning an engaging vocal line.

Over all this is a sweet little single and shows that the Van Susans do have something to offer the UK music scene beyond generic indie pop, and they should be a band to watch out for in coming years

Worth checking out

For fans of... The Satellite Year, Mind Museum, Where's Billy, Waterboys, Runrig etc....

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