Released: September 10th
I’m a pretty shallow guy. I didn’t realise it until just now, but I really am. I’m not too sure if it’s a good or bad thing but there’s nothing much I can do about it now, anyway. 23 years of engrained shallowness – and it will probably take double-that to de-engrain, from my soul and mind, the dirty rockpools of small-minded, visual and physical niches of shallowness that I find myself drowning in at this very moment. How have I come to the conclusion that I’m a shallow individual? I’ll tell you how. I was sorting through physical copies of albums/EP’s waiting for review when my grimy fingers happened upon a CD wrapped in a brown envelope. Well, not even a brown envelope, really. It felt more like one of those bags you get at American malls, the mucky brown coloured ones, you know? Compared to the other ones I’ve got lying around here, this one really stuck out so I picked it out of its nest, its little wings of promise flapping all the time.
Sensorites is stamped onto the front, along with Fool. The back, the names of the tracks stamped in like a really inky tattoo. Also on the front is the press release:
That Mersey swagger, an ear for a melody and charming lyric is what these guys are all about. From the vibe of Cast, The La’s, The Zutons et al this group of brothers are a fine example of a modern day sounding take on all the above and hell, dare I say The Beatles too. Brilliant.
It would sway you too, right? A press release like that. I mean, c’mon, a lovely looking brown envelope/bag thing/CD case and a press release comparing the band’s sound to the likes of Cast and The Beatles – it would be pretty rude not to review this one before the rest of the (im)patient ones.
If looks are everything, that is…
Unfortunately, though, the content doesn’t live up to the standards of the eye-candy it’s packaged in. The single, Fool, is played in different styles three times, with one instrumental track wedged in between. Yeah, it’s a given that Fool (which is the opening track) could be a good track with a bit more work but as it stands it’s far, far too twee and faux-sweet to be enjoyed at leisure. Listening to it twice is just about do-able, three times a struggle and four times deserves a pat on the back. Five times, I would ask if you’ve got too much time on your hands. Or change the repeat setting on your iTunes.
The redeeming factor for the track is that, at times, it’s almost like listening to a live session. This is mainly because of the guitar, bordering on acoustic, then twisting into a polished recording. Sensorites do have the ability to pull you into their music, but this is only because of the guitar – the vocals are too stuffy and come across as if the vocalist’s got a terrible cold with tissues stuck up his nostrils. (A Cappella), the final track is probably the hardest track to get through, as it’s only then you realise how grating the vocalist’s voice can get. And listening to the same line of: I’d be a fool to let you go / I’m a fool, don’t you know? is far from as charming as the press release states the band’s lyrics can be. If you do your favourite thing enough times, you’d get fed up of it. When it’s a lyric you don’t like, it’s like wading through quicksand. Without a helping hand to pull you out.
The Scouse accent is good to hear, though, as the band aren’t trying to be anyone but themselves – but I’d like to hear another recording of the band where it wasn’t the same track metamorphosised into three other fillers. It’s only then, really, that I’d be able to give a proper review of the band. Reviewing the same track over and over isn’t fun for the reviewer, or the reader, so it’s a really dubious decision to release this when it seems the band have missed out on an opportunity to show their true colours.
For now, I’ve got to say this isn’t the most rewarding of listens but if the band were to release something else in the future that had a bit more than one track, I’d love to hear it.
Perhaps everyone was right about shallowness…