If this band were famous, they would be on the same par as the boring
and overrated Ash, who are so insipid it hurts. But as the Christines'
version of spangly indie pop is safely obscure, I won't mind saying
that they are quite good. One-dimensional, but quite good. At least
there is no half-hearted attempt to discover the trip-hop element to
their music, to break into some spurious drum n' bass, or to tack on a
few string samples to annoy the copyright lawyers. I like a band that
knows its limitations.
The Christines make sparkly, pure, up-tempo guitar jangles that
somehow refuse to be bogged down by indie-schmindieness. Songs like
'Passed Out in Showers' and 'Secretaries' feature crisp harmonies from
all four members of the band, while 'Teenage Makeout Session' and 'In
Your Space' cover slower, mellow ground. The lyrics are poignant, the
lead vocals are whimsical, and the end result is haunting in a Teenage
Fanclub/Mover kind of way. The album closes with the title track
"Living At the Bottom Of the Sea", the Christines fading out with
subtle synth noises and their dignity intact.
by Laura Slattery