Centred around the idiosyncratic growl of frontman Dan Michaelson, Absentee's super-smart pop turns gained much critical acclaim for their first releases on Memphis Industries - 2005's mini album Donkey Stock and its full follow-up 2006's Schmotime. The Londoners next effort Victory Shorts was received a more muted reception but Michaelson has since excelled with his side project back by The Coastguards while the remaining members haven't fallen too far behind under the guise of Wet Paint.
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Ask the lucky few how Absentee initially grabbed their attention and they’ll tell you accordingly: ‘that voice’. Because before any of the four other Absentees can reel you in with a hook or two, Dan Michaelson’s wonderfully inimitable vocals have already done the job.
If Arab Strap and The Magic Numbers sat down to reach a compromise between the dismal and the blissful, they’d probably agree on something similar to Schmotime. Self-effacing and bittersweet, Absentee’s debut album is one of near endless charm. Such are the minor subtleties...