Lonely The Brave, up to now, have had a somewhat fairy tale existence; formed in 2008 in Cambridge, the band have quietly gone about becoming one of the UK’s most beloved hidden gems, selling out tour after tour, each one growing larger and larger. 2014’s The Day’s War started to bring in the media attention the band had always deserved and, keen to build upon that success, Lonely The Brave soon started work on their next record, which would become Things Will Matter.
Built around David Jakes’ fragile, trusting voice, opening track ‘Wait in the Car’ eases you in with its delayed rhythm of a synth, setting the scene nicely before first single ‘Black Mire’ throws you right into the deep end. Jakes’ fragile vocal makes way for an accusative tone, while Mark Trotter and Ross Smethwick’s guitars pulverise the ears. ‘Diamond Days’ and ‘Rattlesnakes’ provide the ‘Backroads’ moment of Things Will Matter, soaring, anthemic tones that would make for perfect sing-alongs given time and space in a live setting, while ‘Play Dead’ and ‘Radar’ showcase an urgency that their past album lacked at times.
‘Jaws of Hell’ however comes in at the very end to close the album with its highest of highs. Both atmospheric and claustrophobic, optimistic yet punishing, the closing track is the clearest example of the evolution Lonely The Brave have experienced over the two years since their debut was released. Put simply, ‘Jaws of Hell’ provides a completely unexpected curveball at the end of an otherwise quite pedestrian record.
Frustratingly, with a few more tracks like ‘Black Mire’ and ‘Jaws of Hell’, we would be sat here now saying Things Will Matter is hands down the album of the year, but these moments are few and far between. While the other tracks are good, some great, there is too little progression from The Days War to truly hold them up on a pedestal. The production is also hit-and-miss at times, with ‘Radar’ in particular sounding as though it came off a different record. Things Will Matter is still a very good record, but it could have been great with just a little more time and evolution, there is little doubt however that these songs will truly come alive onstage.