This Year’s Ghost – ‘Taxidermy Eyes’

Old Familiar – Banging into life, with a hard-hitting, if slightly poppy intro. Light-hearted vibe, with a pop like melody, sung with solidly accomplished vocals, loaded with heartfelt meaning. Retaining the soft feel, despite its intense and somewhat darker message – it’s listenable, whilst being clearly more pop than rock and the strength of the vocal delivery and initial instrumental impact is its saving grace.

These Hills Can Talk – Nice riff intro, with a definite heavier essence. Still, there’s an inescapably melancholy tone, but the rocky melodic edge with which it’s performed makes it more tolerable and even, catchy, to a point. If nothing else, the overall performance is polished, which will resonate with some, even if it is lacking that human element that seems to make the difference between joy and tedium.

Self Made Throne – slower, more laid-back intro, creating space, to absorb it, but somehow, it’s just devoid of any real substance. As such, there’s not much more to be said about it. It’s just empty.

The Great Divide Of Head And Heart – Downtuned intro, with more bass emphasis and a clear emo streak, which actually works, in some bizarre, elusive way. Perhaps it’s just more emotionally honest and therefore, consistent with the lyrics. Again, though, it definitely leans more to the soft alt rock/generic pop rock side. So, in likeability terms, it won’t work well for a hard rock fan, but may well work for those more inclined to brit rock tendencies.

This Fog Can Sing – Opening with more of an electronic sound, there’s good vocal clarity and power in the instrumentals, for which they can’t be faulted. Slightly grey, in pitch and not much hope of variation, but a competent general performance.

Overall – An adequate output, with good sound production and effective delivery. Sadly, though, whilst its melancholy thread and generally morose tone may work well for the emo, dance and pop rock contingents, its hollowness overshadows it and any potential it may have, to break free from the mould of generic, derivative monotony is lost in the tedium. Flawless technical performance, but essentially flat.

4/10 ****

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