Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer in 1997.
The Delgados uncork a spirited mix of pop and punk music on their first U.S. release, Domestiques. The Scottish quartet also tosses in a handful of ballads, some with string arrangements, but the freewheeling tracks are the most fun.
“Under Canvas Under Wraps” gets the CD off to a rollicking start as singer Emma Pollock employs a Paul Westerberg style slur while engaging her cohorts in call and response vocals. Pollock takes a playful approach with her lilting accent, and she’s at her best soaring over the punk energy of “Sucrose” and “Strathcona Slung.” “One More Question” has a simple acoustic arrangement, but its emotions ring true, and the band follows that number with a blast of high energy on “Big Business In Europe.”
“Pinky” has a childlike quality, in contrast to the hard-edged media bashing of “4th Channel.” When a band is able to switch gears as willing;y as The Delgados do, it makes for adventurous listening.