By The Reverse
Is it me? I keep hearing recordings that make no demands, move no stones and promise no thrills. The Reverse come from Crouch End and make much of acoustic guitar strumming. They seem, in "Broken Roads" to have been impressed by the Landspeed Loungers' masterly "Blackout Boy". But they don't have the musical genius to repeat its trick. The voice has a Dave Cooke ring to it but the music plods along on automatic pilot without the Loungers' iron grip on shape and direction. It's something that us insecure musicians do - we set the tempo and the chord sequence at the beginning and use them like crutches to get to the end. No swoops, no leaps, no moments of insane creativity or magic. Just dull, dull, dull. The melody gets glued to the chord structure and flops about like a spastic penguin trying to fly. "It's getting late, we're both out off date, it's a common mistake" is a standard "can't write lyrics" lyric. And "laa, la la la laa" repeated in thin two part harmony is about as ornamentally useless as it gets. "Night Bus" brings the set to an end, with an attempt at rock screaming against a doomy bass riff. The main redeeming feature of the CD is Nathan Loughran's rich and versatile voice. In a band with fresh ideas and a sense of purpose, it could be an asset. The web site hasn't been updated since November. Some extra mp3s on there confirm the feeling I have that the band haven't really decided what they want to sound like. But they are playing at Joseph's Well on January 21, so get down there and find out why Claire Sturgess seems to have said "Melancholic, beautiful and uplifting" on XFM Radio.