1. Will You Be There
2. Live For The Moment
4. Chasing Shadows
7. Was It Really Worth It
8. Turn The Clock
10. Heart Of Gold
The world is a crazy place right now. The western world has never been more divided in-regards to everyones ideological perspective. The United Kingdom has decided to leave our European brothers and sisters and go it alone, calling in all our ‘i.o.u’s’ and listening to every unanswered phone message just to see if there is any work going and get some money in to the system. However, the country has never really had to worry too much about producing talent, in fact, I would go as far as to say that half the best selling artists in the world come from these little islands. The Beatles, The Smiths, the Spice Girls, the Elton John’s and of course, the One Direction’s, all come from Blighty and their styles and tunes have been played all around the world.
Some bands however, massive in these lands, haven't done so well outside the country. Bands like Oasis and Stone Roses, with all their Northern wit and demeanour, don't transfer so well on the other side of the Atlantic. Why is this? It’s not like you can hear our ‘bad teeth’ on record? Perhaps it is in part due to our ‘shared cultural knowledge’ y’know, images of fish ’n’ chips, replays of Only Fools and Horses and the vast array of regional accents on offer. All these things are recognisable to the people of the UK and perhaps not so much to our continental cousins. But of course music is not just about going out there and trying to win everyone over, music is about communication, saying something to people.
The first track ‘Will You Be There’ comes at the listener with this Foo Fighters/Oasis hybrid of rhythm and epic choruses. Think Club Foot era Kasabian and the planet smashing guitars of mid-noughties Muse. This opener is somewhat like a lighthouse calling out all those stuck in the wild storm of life. ‘Live For The Moment’ is a song written for every Ken Loach movie. When Kiaran Crook croons ‘When things don’t seem to go your way’; its hard to not get a little emotional. The frontman is offering us some honest advice without telling you off for it. I Am Kloot fans will love this track. ‘Escapade’ gets a little Prince on us with just a dash of Queens Of The Stone Age. It sounds like Frankenstein’s monster trying to get down to a Motown song and its somewhat more light hearted than our first two songs.
‘Chasing Shadows’ next, and things get, dare I say it, a little 80s. This track is way more ‘American’ sounding than the other tunes. The song is faster (tempo) and more ‘wordy’ (vocally), the band have dropped the ghost vocals for faster rawer vocal transitions, almost Jarvis Cocker-esque. Both ‘Blue’, ‘Nobody Knows’ and ‘Turn The Clock’ move even further away from the first few tracks of this record, focusing more Grand Canyon sized reverb than fast ‘stabby’ rhythms.
My favourite track on the record would have to be ‘Motions’. With its fantastic Country/Rock-train drum beat and its portrayal of a very passive-aggressive character, unsure of his or her self, it makes for an interesting narrative. Musically, this song is very multilayered. And finally, the last tune ‘Candlelight’ sounds like a happy and contented Smiths trying to have a bash at Coldplay. It is very haunting and ethereal, maybe even a bit ELO, only without all the ‘art’ and theatre.
One can see how sincere the band are in trying to comfort and support listeners and those around them. There is a message throughout this record, but for me, the onus should really be on the music. There is a clear lack of musical dexterity, and the lack of rhythmic dynamic becomes a little jarring towards the end. That said, it is a good and well put together Northern Pop-Rock record.
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Review - Lewis McWilliam