By The Firm
Debut single from London-based quartet The Firm offers up two tracks of straightforward rock that eschews current musical trends in favour of a more timeless sound.
A-side 'Dismal Results' is packed full of classy, assured riffs that act as a slick backdrop to Ross Liddle's likeably casual vocals. The chorus is similarly laidback, forgoing big, brash hooks, and instead relying on a very neat turn of phrase to win over the listener. Part of The Firm's appeal lies in the fact that they never seem to be trying too hard.
While this type of no frills rock has the potential to become repetitive, The Firm avoid this pitfall by picking up the pace after the midway point. They layer on the riffs, push the drumbeats to the forefront of the song and emphasise the underlying, jangly beat to ensure that 'Life's Dismal Results' doesn't just keep on delivering more of the same.
B-side 'Around The Rim (And Back To Him)' follows the formula laid down in 'Dismal Results' but has a more urgent sound, largely thanks to some insistent riffs and snappy drumbeats. 'Around The Rim...' increasingly veers more towards the heavy rock end of the spectrum, with a bridge section that delivers plenty of squealing chords, darker, brooding riffs and pounding drumbeats. This harder sound is carried over into the final quarter of the song, again ensuring that The Firm never get into the rut it'd be so easy for them to fall into.
On the downside, this song's simple but effective chorus is repeated far too many times towards the end. Although you'll initially find much to like in the choruses' slick phrasing, you'll be completely sick of it by the time 'Around The Rim...' draws to a close.
The Firm don't prescribe to any obsessively-specific musical genre, and are as such difficult to categorise. These two tracks may not drill themselves into your head like some of the more genre-specific music does but, by that virtue, The Firm's debut feels like a breath of fresh air.