The Sewing Room were an obscure act from the mid-1990’s and part of the Dublin independent music scene. Why they were obscure is fairly obvious given the lack of killer songs in their armoury, yet their music contains a lilting charm which may not have been so appreciated at the time of Britpop as it is now.
Lacking the consistency of many of their contemporaries, there’s no doubt that a few of these songs could do with an injection of pace. The frontman’s tones define the term low-key but they are tailor-made for the understated arrangements.
The Sewing Room’s best songs are beautifully subtle. ‘Stop The Rain’ is characterised by aching guitar lines with the singer reduced to a whispered despair, whilst ‘Instrumental’ shifts from intricate, delicate verses to a delightfully doleful chorus. For their darker side, ‘Delve’ – one of the more robust offerings – compares favourably with fellow Irishmen Whipping Boy and ‘I Take Pains’ builds up an atmosphere of understated menace. There’s much to enjoy for Lloyd Cole And The Commotions fans too, since the The Sewing Room exhibit a similar penchant for jangly, countrified rock.
The album title reveals a knowing wink to The Velvet Underground and The Sewing Room adopt that same approach of underselling themselves. You won’t find any anthems here but instead there’s a fine selection of melancholic indie rock numbers which are quietly brooding rather than thrilling.
The Loft, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions, The Velvet Underground