Last week I was surprised to see one of the singles I had waiting for review was covered by the Daily Record’s The Razz Friday supplement. In his review Rick Fulton stated that this may be the band who could achieve the first mainstream success by a Scottish act since The View, Paolo Nutini and Glasvegas in 2006.
Immediately, my heart just dropped and I realised that this single may not be my cup of tea.
The single received looked really good aesthetically. Packaged in a black envelope with a hole in the middle, the disc was designed to look like vinyl, complete with ridges. Really really cool.
The disc contains four versions of the same song. One of which is cleverly titled “Dub In My Mind”. You see, it’s a dub-step version of the song!
And yes, I am aware that I am avoiding talking about the actual single.
The musicianship on the song is very technically proficient. The bass line is actually pretty interesting, and the song starts off quite promisingly until the dual knockout punch of the vocals and the synth kick in.
Synth is just a bit overused at the minute and unless the band is going to do something really interesting or new with it, it almost always seems to make a song suffer.
The vocals are delivered in a monotone drawl, staying constant and emotionless throughout. I know it probably seems that I’m down on anything that vocally doesn’t feature a loud-quiet dynamic, but that really isn’t true. I just need the vocalist to feel like he cares beyond wanting to pose with a microphone, and I don’t get that here.
It doesn’t help that the lyrics aren’t great. The chorus actually just features the same line: “How come we make love in my mind/ when in real life you never find time for me” – repeated four times, suggesting that writing the words isn’t a particular strength of any of the band members.
I know that once again I sound really down on something, but this just isn’t my kind of thing. It’s a real shame, because when I saw that I had a disc from a Scottish band to listen to, I actually got really excited.
But I just feel I’ve heard a lot of music exactly like this lately, and I can’t think of anyone walking this sound who has had a great deal of the “mainstream success” that Rick Fulton posits these guys can achieve.
(Released through Flowers In The Dustbin on 18th April 2011)
Kenneth John Porteous