The Great Outdoors
Good thing - Hand-stamped promo case, lovingly wrapped with a silk ribbon to keep the CD in.
Bad thing - worrying that the heat produced by my car stereo will melt the thick layer of paint on the CD. I mention that now because it might be the only downside I can think of to this CD, and since it’s only a promo, you shouldn’t even have to worry about it.
The opening title track borrows some of Bloc Party’s guitar chimes and drum clatters, but thanks to the accents and female backup vocals, there’s also a decent hint of fellow Brummies Johnny Foreigner in the mix. The JoFo comparisons inevitable stick around for the rest of the tracks, but Bloc Party is gradually edged out in favour of Biffy Clyro, with everything becoming a bit more angular and awkward. ‘An Evening’ is more thoughtful and ethereal, but still manages a pretty full-blown finish, while ‘The Way It Goes’ is more at the playful and punchy end of the scale, thankfully making the first instance of beatboxing in an indie song (that I’ve encountered) seem totally natural. ‘Collapsible Friend’ switches schizophrenically between understated melodies and riff-filled blowouts, but stops abruptly, which I suppose is appropriate, even though it could have continued to seesaw back and forth for another few minutes to great effect. They use much the same approach on ‘What Arthur Said’, but make it slightly heavier in both modes, and with more electronic effects to keep any rot from setting in. ‘Sleepwalk’ then adds a more post-rock/shoegaze leaning to the proceedings, before ‘Targets’ rounds it all off by throwing a bit of everything that has come before into the blender and seeing what comes out. Fortunately, it’s a glorious mess instead of an unpalatable one, and if there’s any justice it should soundtrack a glorious summer.