By The Accord
Should I have a glass of wine or a beer with lunch? I wonder how much I would have to pay Jessie J to give me a lap dance? That guitar part was very good. Offer to give my wife a lift home or let her walk in the rain? This chorus will be stuck in my head for weeks. Why can't my dog tell the difference between Pedigree Chum and horse s**t? These are just a few of the thoughts I had whilst listening to 'Cinematics' by The Accord, and although parts of the record are very good, the reason I was thinking about my dog, my stomach and Jessie J is that this album fails to hold your attention for more than just a few minutes. It's packed out with long, over produced intros, outros and middle bits that act as mere filler between the main body of songs. I'm not suggesting that his kind of thing can't be used to good effect, the track 'Birth/First Words' for example has a great middle section, but as the album goes on it does get rather tiresome.
Anyway, enough with the negative and on to the positive. The aforementioned 'Birth/First Words' is (despite the title) a strange choice to open the record, it's like two or three different songs mixed together but for some reason it works, there is excellent use of dynamics and the American radio clips behind the instrumental part add a thoughtful and artistic touch. Up next is 'Subroutine', by far the most commercial track on the album with a huge chorus and foot stomping beats that would have any floppy haired, sports jacket wearing indie kid up on the dance floor. 'Abilene' is very much from the same mould, but with a more Oasis type feel, and 'Cinematics' has the drama and intensity worthy of any title track.
Now, nothing in music gets me more frustrated than a song that doesn't fulfil it's potential, 'Song from the Singing, Ringing Tree' is a classic example of this; it could be the band's acoustic gem, a stand out track, but instead it's cut short and will forever be confined to the realms of mediocrity along with 'Cancer' by My Chemical Romance and almost every Steriophonics song, this is especially disappointing if you consider the preceding track 'A Box of Paints' which ends about 6 months too late, honestly, I would very much like to poke singer/songwriter Sam Simmons with a sharpened stick until he finishes it properly, it's such a waste.
The Accord then have thrown up a mixed bag with this album; their sound is very inconsistent and difficult to describe, it's somewhere in the gaping chasm between Pulp and Radiohead, but not quite good enough to be likened to either, they are quite clearly accomplished musicians, but the vocals leave a lot to be desired. I would never suggest for a second that this band is destined to fail, but I'm afraid much work needs to be done on the final details.