Dignan Porch are a lo-fi pop quartet from London, although on their debut album Tendrils you might not think there are actually four people playing most of the time. In the grand tradition of bedroom musicians with a four-track and the gumption to use it, Dignan Porch are more interested in their tunes than their instrumental chops, but the melodies are elemental enough that even if they had the skills of the average jazz fusion outfit, it's hard to say how they'd find the room to show them off. The instrumental modesty of songs like "We Sat on a Hill," "Footsteps," and "A Person" makes Tendrils sound more like the work of one modestly accomplished guy with a guitar and some percussion instruments rather than a full band. Music like this often gets by on its charm, and Dignan Porch certainly have a good share of that, especially when they turn up the electric guitars on "The Game We Made," "Team Up," or "Two of Us." But for all the willful sloppiness and bare-bones tunes, Tendrils also boasts an impressive degree of atmosphere and a similar level of smarts, especially in the cryptic wit of the lyrics and the rare moments when the band pulls together enough to give the songs a much-needed dose of forward momentum. There's enough imagination in the songs and the performances on Tendrils to make a case for Dignan Porch's promise, but as it is, their ideas are outstripped by their ability to pull them off, even if all four people were actually playing at once more often.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming