...it all feels about 30 years too late, it’s the sort of music that Ultravox, Big Country or The Alarm used to chart with in the early 80s. I wonder what people – outside of your weary scribe - think now.
Sometimes you hear something that is so out of time, so unfashionable, so obviously the work of someone trying to get down their innermost ideas of what music should sound like, (oblivious of anything or anyone else), that it’s hard not to be affected by it. However much you reason with yourself. This is such a release. Whilst The Great Outdoors is chockfull of the sort of wind and water guitar bluster that I spent most of the 80’s trying to avoid, there’s something there on the most rudimentary level. And that’s despite the clunky lyrics, or the over-zealous musical signposting.
This EP has a large epic sound, back-dropped by swirling, glowering guitar flourishes that were once the sole property of the Bunnymen and have recently propelled the ethereal spirit of British Sea Power. The opener, The Great Outdoors is romantic gesture music, writ large, tattooed on your forehead: the thudding, hand-hewn chord changes there to induce the sort of restless out of focus dreaming that went out with hand held devices. The other up-tempo numbers, I’m Feeling Lucky and In My Dreams Tonight also benefit (but often find themselves trapped) by these power chords. I mean it’s cleverly arranged and obviously heartfelt stuff, but there’s not much room for manoeuvre – and it’s down to the listener to blot out the odd cringe-worthy moment. He just means what he sings, so who are we to argue?
Undoubtedly the best moment is A Little While Longer, which is a great and very soft weepie, with a definite feel of Alex Chilton in the way the lad delivers his lyrics. It’s a beautiful song. So, enjoyable enough: the only thing is, (and this is despite my firm belief that music as an entity that defies both time and tide) it all feels about 30 years too late, it’s the sort of music that Ultravox, Big Country or The Alarm used to chart with in the early 80s. I wonder what people – outside of your weary scribe - think now.