By A Day Left
Two spelling mistakes in a pisstake title that takes no piss is not a good start. A sound check drum intro to a trying-hard-to-impress first track takes things down another notch. "Thinking in Circles" is disposable drudge rock with a forced vocal track that refuses to do melody. (In its favour there is some squealy guitar and strong bass to listen to.)
But then "The Complete Picture" makes a fresh approach from a more heartfelt direction. Similar math rock tendencies, but done with style in the service of a big emotional thrust. Bass and guitars sing together with gut hollowing effect and the drumming pushes things authoritatively like it should. The vocal track is done with sensitivity and strength. Some harmony tracks are added in an impressively large production. It's good.
"Horizon" pops up next with folkish phrasing and a country dance feel in the light guitars. (no, really ... just listen) The vocal track has an Irish tinge and this could almost be the Pogues meets early U2. But only for a moment. Some very compelling guitar/bass unison playing bundles it along into Rock Valhalla with style and skill. Best track so far. The essential reprise of that Edge-esque guitar towards the end convinces me that this lot are on the right side of the wavy musical dividing line between shite and right.
Thin Lizzy stagger out for a kicking on the intro to "Trade it All", but retire hurt after some deliberately abrasive singing that I hate but which you will love. You know, that kind of just-on-the-verge-of-puking noise that some singers do when they want to let you know how REAL it is. It's a bit of a mess, basically. Various disconnected passages leading to a thrash for the stage show with a couple of chances to show off guitar wizardness.
"Not in this World" has supple bass that lifts the guitar melody over the early bars and into some well marked out emotional space. It promises to be another "Complete Picture" but then gets a bit lost in sections of clever stuff that exhibit the band's technical skills while raising questions about their willingness to communicate anything direct and honest. The voice takes the words and leads them across the chord shapes without breaking into a tune (routine procedure for rock these days). It goes on for just over six minutes but doesn't reach a conclusion. So, two out of five by my reckoning. But these guys are not rank beginners, and they don't sound like it. Their stage show will be well worth the entry fee. National acclaim awaits the arrival of their song writing muse on a full time basis.