This small indie rock ensemble certainly have a sound fitting of the genre in current day. Comparing in a lot of ways to the recent release from Lemuria, Yes, It’s True echoes to the summer melodies of the nineties, whilst bringing some more relevant twists heard from the likes of bands such as Passion Pit and MGMT. All of these feel-good style artists provide a relief from the stress of the modern world, giving some well needed optimism to all; ranging from commuters on a Monday morning train to students tackling a hangover. But does this album truly deliver to the same standards as the clear influences of the album?
It’s easy to say that the start of the album is a great success. ‘You Don’t Know Me’ has some beautifully easy going melodies (with a guitar almost sounding like a sitar in its starting riff), and lyrics that drive through the band with power and vindication. The transition into ‘Popular By Design’ is smooth, stays in character and has some remarkably catchy phrases (notably the chorus, where the song name is taken from). At this point, the listener is happy, upbeat and confident in the timbre this album has set about creating. There is however, a turning point. It’s difficult to place exactly where the peak is, but by the second half of the album the tempo and strength have clearly and disappointingly started to wane. By the last track, ‘Battlefield’, it’s almost like being in an emotional hangover that you don’t remember starting. With the exception of the penultimate track ‘What Would You Do’; which provides an unexpected break from the lax tempo; the latter half of the album seems to drift away from the inspired start and into something far more generic.
Now it’s not to say that this album isn’t good. It’s production levels are high, the musicianship professional and the musical qualities are fun and enjoyable. The album does for the genre what Nokia does for mobiles: there’s good stability but unfortunately nothing truly innovative. If the momentum gained from the first half had been distributed evenly throughout the album then perhaps it would have evened out the atmosphere, so perhaps this is purely a mastering issue arising from the selection of the order. Or perhaps this is another album that blends into a genre that is quickly becoming saturated. Whichever way you look at it, we all had a Nokia at one point or another and we all know they did the job, but there’s a good few handsets that shine a bit brighter nowadays.