Adventures in Stereo

Alternative Stereo Sounds

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Judith Boyle's angelic crooning on the opening track of Alternative Stereo Sounds hints at what's to come: a slew of simple, infectious pop from Scotland's Adventures in Stereo. Joan Morose's Casio keyboard leads the way on the second track, "Down in the Traffic," while guitarist Jim Beattie, formerly of Primal Scream, leads the way with dreamy and intricate guitar lines. Beattie arranged all of the sometimes-painfully short songs on the album. Boyle's vocals are sometimes reminiscent of the Sundays' Harriet Wheeler. Boyle and Beattie previously worked together in the band Spirea X. On Adventures in Stereo's American debut, the duo focuses on Club 8-style summery pop. "Here Together" might be the catchiest track of the bunch, with layers of vocals melding with layers of jangly instrumentation. The group takes on Beach Boys-era grooves on "Dream Surf Baby." The last listed track, "Silence Is," calmly brings the disc to a conclusion with brief and ghostly instrumentation. After an extended silence, a bonus track offers up a darker and rowdier side of the band. Boyle's vocals echo in and out throughout the song, while Beattie's guitar moans throughout the lively album-closer. Bass, piano, drums, harmonium, and sitar also find their way into the mix. The disc's 19 songs are nothing if not elegant and pristine. Boyle's vocal exercises are akin to the orchestral female vocals of His Name Is Alive. Bobsled Records released the disc in 1998.

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