superimposers_htreacle.jpg I am a proud ex-member of the Under The Bathwater Club, which means that most Sundays in my youth you would find me listening to Jimmy Saville's rundown of past chart listings (or the 'hit parade' as we music buffs like to call it) whilst undergoing a morning-after-the-night-before detox in the tub. In such fashion my encyclopaedic knowledge of everything from the Kingston Trio's 'Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley' to Kenny's 'The Bump' was honed, especially revelling in those heady days when Hendrix and Humperdinck could rub shoulders in the top ten. And the relevance of all this you ask? Well, The Superimposers hark back to a late 60's/early 70's era of restrained but whimsical and inventive pop that brings to mind sounds like 'I can't let Maggie go' by Honeybus, 'Excerpts From A Teenage Opera' by Keith West, 'My Name Is Jack' by Manfred Mann, and the completely fantabulous (no joke) 'White Horses' by Jacky. I could go on. As they themselves attest, their influences are peace, love, and harmonies; and their sound "will ooze from your iPod like treacle from a harpsichord". So put on those rose-tinted Lennon specs, that burgundy crushed velvet jacket, and let those sideburns grow Jason King style.The Superimposers are London-based studio troglodyte Devonians Dan Warden and Miles Copeland. Their eponymous debut from 2005 attracted a small band of devotees, and they have remixed Jose Gonzalez, but things took an odd turn the following year with them disowning follow-up 'Missing' as "not representative of our current work or taste and [it] is comprised of unfinished tracks never intended for release, as well as vocals, instrumentation and songwriting by other musicians". Strange indeed, but they've returned with a vintage bang.Almost predictably, the album begins with a soft barrage of Beachboy harmonies. Whereas the likes of Miracle Fortress and Caribou use the same jumping off point to stay more revved-up, indie and electronic, the Superimposers keep things more organic, uncluttered and closer to the production values of their era of inspiration. The opening vocals lead into a lolloping riff that underpins 'Anymore', whilst interleaved segments feature what becomes a characteristic wholesome MOR pop sound for the whole album. Chunky, spongy bass lines are immersed in strings and often topped off with a flute - like a loved up Ronnie Hazlehurst orchestra, or a re-imagined 'Galloping Home' by the London String Chorale.As a concession to non-Under The Bathwater Club members, think laid back Super Furry Animals or perhaps the less frenetic than usual sound of the The Go! Team on 'Everyone's a VIP to Someone'. Lyrics are generally simple and largely pass without leaving a memory in a waft of harmony, which is not to dismiss them but to see the calm, nasal, often Lennonesque (say,"Nowhere Man"), lead vocals as a seamless part of the overall soundscape. There is an art to that too: everything seems to be in its rightful natural place.'The Northern Song' is driven by pulsating bass and more 'ba-ba-ba's than the Pearl And Dean titles, with the track name hinting at the northern soul groove it contains. Things do get a bit tinny and sparsely electronic with 'Make It all Better', but this jarring (for this album) instrumentation is draped in more harmonies and a soothing message in the vocal. The sleepy mood continues with 'Autumn Falls' before an almost trip-hoppy middle section, with 'Kicking Around' having a vaguely nautical feel of balmy loose-stringed guitar and brushed wind chimes. 'Hand Me Downs' could possibly have been found a home on Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, and the album wanders off gently into the sunset with 'Twilight' complete with coconut shell hoof beats and saddle-swaying beat.Favourite track is 'Special', a glorious shimmering culmination of the warm glow that this album generates. As the chorus proclaims: "Celebrate the ordinary / Special to me". They have and it is for me at least. It doesn't break any barriers, it's got no special message; but I have enjoyed it washing over me time and time again. A niche hit with former members of the Under The Bathwater Club only? I would suggest that retro cool doesn't get any better than this: recommended for all.80%LinksThe Superimposers [official site] [myspace]