There’s some rather lovely backing vocals behind the spat and spluttered lyrics of lead singer Lewis Dyer on this gruff rocker, sort of like Dropkick Murphys meets Arctic Monkeys. There are some nice and playful images contained in the lyrics, Lewis sneering at one point; ‘If I was a trapped idea then I’d crack your skull.’ But for all his croaky energy there’s something a little lacking from the song, it doesn’t quite have the musical punch from a production point of view, the mix is foggy when it should be sharp and abrasive. There’s a nice wonky finale, but, ultimately it’s a bit of a damp squib.
God’s Game fares a little better, its unplugged instrumentation is smoky and brooding, though Dyer’s vocal shifts into some awkward nu-rap sounding breaks which take away from the shuffling, back room atmospherics. When he gets into the murmured keening it sits better in the mix, a little Nirvana covered by Mark Lanegan. There’s a similarly unplugged version of Can’t Tie Me Down to follow, that oddly has exactly as much impact as the plugged version, which probably goes some way to further elaborate how muffled the mix was earlier, though Dyer’s delivery suffers on this stripped down version, sentiments that sparkled earlier feel a little overwrought as he melodramatically anunicates them.
A pair of decent tunes here, but each is let down in different ways, this band may refine their ‘on record’ sound as time goes by, and then they’ll have something pretty interesting. However the balance between the vocal and musical performance sits a little haphazardly on these three tracks at least, and doesn’t allow the songs to come alive.