(Chemikal Underground, 1996)
The rock action is a lot more streamlined this time around, and we’re definitely the worse for it. On “Under Canvas Under Wraps” and “Een Telf,” the band goes for an overdriven, Breeders-style alterna-pop that lacks the innocently over-thunk off-kilter charm of the previous singles, and not even Emma Pollock’s surprisingly tuff-ass singing can save these bland, sorta-hooky rawk-out sleepwalks. Even on the decidedly Pavement-y “Bear Cub,” whose lackadaisical vox and guitar groove are pretty much straight stylistic rips of our Modesto buddies, the Delgados sound uncharacteristically faceless and bored/boring. A bum single for sure, but let’s give them a pass on it cuz far better things were soon to come with The Great Eastern and Hate. Shoot, with tearjerk, sucker-punch, kitchen-sink records like those, I just can’t stay mad at these bozos; I’m both a pushover and a chump.