Despite Britrock’s recent renaissance slowly but surely dying down, there still seems to be plenty of new bands cropping up all over the place with the hope of breaking through. Nottingham’s Lacey may not be amongst the newest of these names, having formed in 2011 and releasing their debut full-length Under The Brightest Lights last year, but new EP I Don’t Owe The World The Thing does see them undergoing a bit of progression.
On these five tracks, the quartet have toned down some of the genre’s more tired features, instead opting for a much thinner, more languid sound. It does well to accentuate the smoothness of Graz Turner’s vocals. It also adds more of a swell to the likes of Shadow and Hoax, which adopt Britrock’s penchant for a typically epic hook without having to resort to the usual explosive chorus. It’s a nice change of pace, feeling grandiose without ever being too upfront about it, especially on the soaring highlight Ghost While I’m Alive.
But with such a change as theirs comes the inevitable drawbacks, and the main one with I Don’t Owe The World A Thing is that it strays so close to wetness and over-sentimentality that it occasionally feels as though it’s trying a bit too hard (on the piano-led closer You Know Nothing the line between overly saccharine and sweeping is pretty much dissolved altogether). It’s the understated instrumental passages that are the main culprit of this, sometimes feeling a bit too limp and airy for their own good, and while the songs remain wistfully catchy all the same, it’s hard to ignore such a feeling of being washed-out.
If this wasn’t intended as somewhat of a stopgap EP, that might have been more of a problem than it is. For five tracks though, it’s not calamitous, if only because it highlights the exceptional pop nouse to Lacey’s songwriting. For future reference a bit of beefing up would be preferable, but at the very least, I Don’t Owe The World A Thing has Lacey with a foot in the door, more than can be said for a lot of bands in their position.
For fans of: Kids In Glass Houses, You Me At Six, Mallory Knox
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘I Don’t Owe The World A Thing’ by Lacey is released on 5th February.