“I haven’t slept for six days,” intones Steven Milne to a throbbing bass backing on ‘Ruminations’, the first of the 10 wildly varying songs on this Aberdeen quartet’s fourth long player.
Much-delayed for obvious reasons, the band’s songwriter has seen grief and elation during this time and this personal reflection comes through in the lyrics as well as in the production by Paul Savage, who employs both brass and the Cairn String Quartet to add gravitas to an already emotionally-charged set of songs.
‘Right To Be Here’ recalls the smooth soul of early Wet Wet Wet, while ‘Dracula’s electro funk also draws from the 1980s but is as much Scissor Sisters as The Associates. Meanwhile, ‘On And On’ melds Elbow with 10cc but then crashes into the extended ‘80s disco banger that is ‘On and On And On’, while ‘Another Night’ channels A-ha.
Overall, something of a triumph – as Milne intones on ‘Right to Be Here’, “you can do this” – mission accomplished.
This article originally appeared in the Blackpool Gazette.