Writing a review of a bands’ debut album can go two ways - the first is that there has been loads of hype and press and you can’t help to be influenced by what you read and hear, and secondly, and in this case, you know nothing about the band and personnel and start with a clean slate.
Even their own website gives little away regarding the band - who are they ? Where are they from ? And more importantly, what does the album sound like ?
The seven track (mini) album clocks in at only thirty nine minutes, and according to the press release, takes it’s influences from just about everywhere - college rock, brit pop and shoegaze, and builds on them to create something new. Produced by James Bragg, who has also worked with Gengahr, it’s true that there are influences all over this album, whilst also sounding fresh and original at the same time.
Closing track, the nearly eight minute 'Where Wild Flowers Grow Fondly', is an almost prog rock opus to new beginnings, featuring a Supper’s Ready style , hypnotic couple of minute drum section, while synth bleeps and squiggles ebb and flow over it. Stunning. It’s the drumming on this album that actually stands out for me, and none more so that on I Take The River, very reminiscent of the National on About Today, driving the song in just the right direction.
The really rather lovely 'Ohio' appears to have been the spark around which the album was written and started life as an acoustic demo. The version that made the album however is a very different beast - a sweeping, widescreen epic of a song, again underpinned with emphatic drums, my only disappointment being that it finishes far too abruptly.
The seven minute 'Show Me Magic' starts in a very relaxed manner, and could have come off any of Mark Knopfler’s recent solo albums, before those drums again propel the song along to a very different beat.
This is an enigmatic album which reveals more on each listen, and even after double figure listens, I still haven’t got a proper grip of it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yes, there are influences everywhere, and virtually every one of the seven tracks reminds me of other bands, but the whole adds up to more of the sum of it’s parts. I really like this album and I really like this band. It’s left me hungry to hear more from them, and find out more about them, especially that drummer.