REVIEW ROUND-UP: grandson, Less Than Jake, Can’t Swim

grandson
Death Of An Optimist

It’s a wonder that grandson is actually still around, to the point where perseverance in the fact of consistently underwhelming returns might be his greatest strength. Even in the ranks of artists who automatically get a boost from bolting the word ‘crossover’ to their profile, grandson has always seemed vastly outranked. His politics have always stood as noteworthy outside of his music, but in the output itself, they’ve often felt vastly more watered down, amidst an electro-rap-rock sound that was dated on arrival and has only gotten worse. Suffice to say, grandson has never been an easy sell, regardless of how much of a push he received at the start, and with his series of EPs that have largely been forgotten and an extensive catalogue of non-starter singles, it’s genuinely surprising to see a full-length album arrive at all. What’s significantly less surprising is how little Death Of An Optimist achieves, where, for an artist who touts himself as such a forward-thinking presence, grandson seems averse to any sort of musical evolution, or even simply moving past the profoundly uninteresting fare he’s clung to since the beginning. He actually begins to set up an arc with some conflict as well, where his faith in the systematic changes he wants to spearhead is waning because nothing seems to be happening, only to circle back to the same shallow political commentary that’s never done all that well for him to begin with. Honestly, for grandson’s own claims of wanting to be a ‘revolutionary’, there’s nothing that comes even close to matching that intention; if anything, he’s abiding by the usual crossover artist rubric of watering a topic down to its most basic building blocks, which saps away so much of any weight. He’s not averse to big sloganeering and rallying cries to bulk out songs that have no real direction besides them, as well as indulging in very rote and tired criticisms of society on Left Behind and We Did It!!!, taking aim at materialism and vapidity while feeling in no way equipped to actually combat them. Again, for an artist who literally says the words “I wanna lead a generation”, grandson’s words have no deeper power that could actually make them incendiary; often, it’s too blinkered by trying to sound big to come off as much more than performative chest-puffing.

Of course, this isn’t anything special; there’s always been an element of grandson being out of his depth and far less intelligent and incisive than he tries to come off, but being stretched over a whole album makes it all the more noticeable of how threadbare his acumen actually is. Moreover, there’s an unearned complacency here, when all of his work thus far has been littered with problems, and approximately none of the time have been rectified in a larger context that makes them even more galling. His voice still grates enormously, with an already nasal tone clipped and shredded to represent a stereotypical alt-pop timbre, only even more annoying, especially when he chooses to mercilessly enunciate like on WWIII. There’s a horrible sourness and dirgelike quality to how grandson chooses to present himself, ultimately a case of trying to mirror the sordid darkness he’s looking to rail against, but with no sense of impact or tangible power. It’s why the sound of this album – like on all of grandson’s material – refuses to connect, when a greasy, compressed riff is wedged into drops that are just a half-measure away from being dubstep. There’s clearly a sense of urban violence and discord that he’s trying to evoke, but it isn’t pleasant to listen to, especially when an already dated sound is just made louder and more unwieldy. It honestly reaches a point where a passable moment like the more propulsive horns on Dirty feel like a fluke, given how grinding and gallumphing songs like We Did It!!! and Pain Shopping are, where a mix suffocated at every turn by noise and grandson’s intolerable vocals simply can’t end quickly enough. It’s without question one of the more obnoxious releases to drop in some time, made all the worse by the fact that this is simply par for the course for grandson. By now, he’s established that he just isn’t that talented, and yet he continues to pump out material that never seeks to push itself, or even find a pocket that’s even remotely workable. Coupled with the fact that his ideas and expectations for what he’s capable of are clearly above his station to an unattainable degree, Death Of An Optimist fails at every possible juncture to deliver something memorable or hard-hitting. More often than not, it’s not even worth paying attention to.

3/10

For fans of: Twenty One Pilots, Tom Morello, SAINT PHNX

‘Death Of An Optimist’ by grandson is out now on Fueled By Ramen.


Less Than Jake
Silver Linings

By now, it should come as no surprise that Less Than Jake are a thoroughly uninteresting band to talk about. Not only have they become entrenched in their sound to a neck-deep level, but when that sound is ska-punk, as a genre that’s not exactly known for its versatility or willingness to really break the bank when it comes to musical ideas, it effectively makes any output of theirs pretty cut-and-dry. Hell, the fact that Silver Linings is being released in mid-December gives the impression that the band themselves are well aware of that, where catching commercial fire is barely even a thought, and certainly falls second to the idea of just getting the music out there. Then again, that would be a more immediate condemnation if Less Than Jake weren’t as high up the ska-punk ladder as they are, which ultimately becomes something of a saving grace for Silver Linings. It’s undoubtedly the same as it ever was, but Less Than Jake’s ease and comfort with exactly what and where they are isn’t a bad thing on paper. They’re still almost slavishly devoted to the usual ska-punk progressions, and while they thankfully stay away from the dumpy reggae side of things, that can often draw attention to how few ideas they have otherwise. At the same time though, there’s definitely a greater emphasis on the punk side with Less Than Jake than what might otherwise be the case, and that leads to a more substantial-feeling album, where the horns offer more manic, intense garnish rather than acting as the driving force. It sheds off some of the throwaway nature that ska-punk often gets tarred with, and a couple of genuinely solid hooks early on with The High Cost Of Low Living and Keep On Chasing feel well-executed and well-rounded. There’s definitely more than a few glances at fellow Floridians New Found Glory in where this rooting is coming from – both Anytime And Anywhere and King Of The Downside draw liberally from Hit Or Miss and Sonny respectively – but it makes for a bolder, firmer listen, something which ties in well with Less Than Jake’s punk sensibilities that, admittedly, have always been more prominent in their work.

Still, that could really be used to describe any Less Than Jake album, because Silver Linings really is the definition of ‘more of the same’. It bears resemblance to a lot of other recent Less Than Jake albums even away from the music, being fairly top-loaded with little, if anything, that feels as though it could leave a lasting impact away from the confines of this release. It’s not exactly workmanlike, seeing as both Chris DeMakes and Roger Lima are expressive enough vocalists to bring a levity and energy, but there’s definitely a clock-punching element here, especially in how much of the lyrical content feels broadly similar or just generally recycled. Leaning on some darker, more pessimistic impulses isn’t a bad thing within ska-punk, but Less Than Jake going for roughly the same approximation of it as they always do isn’t all that exciting anymore, and really only compounds what already feels like a lack of adventurousness pretty much across the board. Apart from some questionably flat vocal production, that’s where the biggest black mark on Silver Linings is placed, in how, to an extent, Less Than Jake just seem to be cycling through their legacy and treading water in order get somewhere, no matter how marginal. There’s nothing striking here, and with the notably late release date, a more cynically-motivated thought process would say that’s kind of the point, where Less Than Jake’s reliance on formula begins to feel like complacency. That can sound more harsh than it actually is, because it’s not like Silver Linings is all that bad, but faint, fleeting enjoyability has become something of a hallmark of Less Than Jake and ska-punk as a whole, and when they’re arguably the most intrinsic name within the genre, they can afford to do better and more interesting things than this.

6/10

For fans of: Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

‘Silver Linings’ by Less Than Jake is released on 11th December on Pure Noise Records.


Can’t Swim
Someone Who Isn’t Me

There really is something fascinating about Can’t Swim and how they’ve managed to entrench themselves so deeply within modern rock without conforming to any defined scene. The shades of punk and post-hardcore remain clear and they do a lot to embrace them, but there’s also a looseness and liability to use them simply as foundations to create their own thing. What’s more, they’re a band who seem to keep moving; they don’t dwell on one thing for two long, and their string of EPs since their last full-length in 2018 have done a lot to expand and flesh out their oeuvre, largely for the better. That appears to be the common goal of Someone Who Isn’t Me, this time with the onus placed on electronic music and how that can integrate with their more between-the-lines rock sound. It’s bold, especially when moves like this can and do go wrong, but this feels more misguided than anything, where the focus has shifted so heavily that things can struggle to click into place. It’s possible to see what they were aiming for with the booming, bass-heavy drop of Someone Who Isn’t You, and the emo-trap aesthetic from the lonesome guitar over synthesised percussion on Casey, but there’s a certain amount of intensity and rawness that feels drained from them that a more powerful composition would’ve rectified. It’s good that they’ve not gone full gloss-coated pop, in that there’s still a bit of grime and gristle to the production, but in the same way that an artist like nothing,nowhere. can sometimes feel a bit aimless despite a stronger overall foundation, that’s what primarily afflicts Can’t Swim here. It’s much better executed on Who’s Happy, which still feels like a solid rock song that’s augmented by its sharper elements rather than fighting against them, but it’s still an odd blend all the same that doesn’t make the most of Can’t Swim’s natural strengths as a band.

In a sense, it feels as though they’re tailoring themselves to the sound they’ve picked up rather than the other way around, and as a result, there’s markedly less impact. The writing is still solid, looking to break away from the lingering memories of a broken relationship while fighting against the extraneous forces that are holding fast ahead, and there’s definitely a stress and tension in Chris LoPorto’s voice that he’s always been good at delivering, but the lack of room to really let loose can see him turn more nasal and constrained. It’s another concession that’s been made that isn’t all that flattering, once again relying on the more natural Who’s Happy and the acoustic closer Tiny Hands to opt as examples of what the ideal end result should be. With Can’t Swim operating at full capacity making these additions and changes to their sound, there’s more than an inkling that it could be something great, considering the band they are, but Someone Who Isn’t Me isn’t at that level, and it shows. It’s not lazy either, but more compromised, where stiffer constraints can clearly be identified, and Can’t Swim’s inability to break through them is even easier to do so. As a curio it’s worth a try, if only to see how far this band’s creative drive really spans, but it isn’t even close to their best, and honestly, it’s not a direction that really seems worth delving into any deeper, especially when this is the end result. If anything, it says the most that the biggest indicting criticism that can be made of this EP is probably its own title.

5/10

For fans of: Trophy Eyes, nothing,nowhere., Point North

‘Someone Who Isn’t Me’ by Can’t Swim is out now on Pure Noise Records.


Goldfinger
Never Look Back

The extent of Goldfinger’s relevance these days boils down to John Feldmann’s prolificness as a producer, and how he’s created a monopoly on pop-rock that’s so sanitised and lacking in greater depth. It’s all digestible and easygoing enough to prop Goldfinger up by proxy, as well as giving Feldmann the sort of undeniable pull and clout within the scene to essentially fuel his band’s current wind on its own. Bear in mind, the result of that on 2017’s The Knife turned out just as underwhelmingly as expected, in its watered-down take on pop-punk and ska-punk with all the hallmarks of a Feldmann album, including the notably hacked-down half-life. With Never Look Back then, it’s not like those features have gone away, but this is a more palatable way of executing them overall. Once again, Feldmann is pulling heavily from his work with blink-182, right down to the way that hooks are structured and how vocal melodies will play out. In other words, it isn’t hard to imagine Mark Hoppus and Matt Skiba on Nothing To Me or Cannonball, and though there’s a higher bar reached because of that, it creates a bit of identity dissonance when it comes to Goldfinger themselves as a band. After all, they don’t lean nearly as much on ska-punk, and when a good portion of this album can be viewed as a lower calibre imitation of modern blink-182 (an era which hasn’t been nearly as lauded for that band either, for the record), it can all feel kind of thin and flimsy. It’s perhaps most egregious on a song like Standing On The Beach, encompassing the usual sheen-over-substance methodology that Feldmann’s style has become infamous for, with the drizzled-on synths and intrusive slickness sees an already precarious style tip too far into overdone territory.

To be fair to Feldmann though, it does feel as though he’s trying to avoid that here more often than he otherwise might, and though there’s still plenty to raise an eyebrow at when it comes a largely clean, flat mix, Never Look Back tends to do it better. It seems as though that production style is much kind to the ska-punk side of Goldfinger, which gives The City and California On My Mind a sunnier bounce, and with Feldmann being a broad but expressive vocalist, it feels less cheap than run-of-the-mill ska-punk can, albeit no less cheesy. Really, this feels like a summer album if there ever was one, with big songs about love and life that might have the bold-faced exuberance and lack of tact of a far less refined band (in the case of the latter, in a lyric like “It’s not like a member of MENSA / More like early dementia” on Dumb, which isn’t exactly tasteful), but it’s something that Goldfinger can sell, largely through the cues taken in from the proximity to those younger bands. There’s a sparkle here that avoids some of the cynicism of ‘90s punk, and for as insubstantial as the likes of The City and Good Guy are, to see them embrace their own verve and energy isn’t a bad look. It’s all topped off by choruses that land more often than they don’t, a comparatively easy hit for Goldfinger, but a meaningful one all the same. They’re not a band for whom the passage of time and the steps to embrace contemporaneity have been all that kind to, so to see a decent album that still has issues but feels altogether more solid is a good thing. Even if it isn’t amazing, it’s listenable enough to like and appreciate the bright, breezy fun it’s striving for, something that Feldmann’s work both in front of and behind the boards doesn’t quite get as often as it should.

6/10

For fans of: blink-182, Reel Big Fish, MxPx

‘Never Look Back’ by Goldfinger is out now on Big Noise Records.


The Dangerous Summer
All That Is Left Of The Blue Sky

Inexplicably, The Dangerous Summer have become a real dark horse within modern emo, in that they’ve become incredibly capable at hitting such a sweet spot between curdled emotional force and top-tier melodic sensibilities. Last year’s Mother Nature saw them hit their peak up to now – and later than would be expected, at that – but even on their less notable material, they’ve at least been able to find a way to hit some key heights, if only through how magnetically bruised AJ Perdomo can be as a frontman. Thus, having an EP that magnifies that feature seems to be a smart move, and the deftness with which All That Is Left Of The Blue Sky trims itself back and allows The Dangerous Summer to shine can be borderline flooring at times. This is the sound that works best for them, where it’s very stripped-back and no-frills, and has an angsty ‘90s alt-rock core to strengthen a strand of emo that’s already been robust from the start. More than ever though, there’s an understated simmer that really works; Fuck Them All and LA In A Cop Car are more moody and contemplative in tone with their steadier pace, exacerbated even further with melancholy pianos on Come Down and Lie To Me. It feels cinematic without ever being mawkish or overblown, and there’s a certain poise that remains constant throughout which maintains an almost flawless emotional balance throughout – never viscerally down, but ebbing back in a way that exposes damage and vulnerability in a brilliantly measured way.

It’s here where Perdomo gets to shine once again, as the sort of vocalist capable of embodying real rigour in his performance, but who can also dial it back to bring the cracks to the surface. Here, he sounds small and helpless of his own accord, looking to pull out of depressive and damaging spirals to try and find something good to hold onto, but knowing full well that he’s just as liable, if not more so, to feed into his own vices and start the cycle all over again. It’s the lynchpin sentiment holding the EP together on Come Along, where he’s surrounded by destructive influences and trying to force himself back from the brink of falling into the same habits. But even so, the moments of growth and positivity take precedence, with the frank closure towards himself on Come Down and the simple beauty of the world around him on I’m Alive that have an air of uncertainty about them, but also feel calm and reasoned. It’s hard to think of a vocalist better than Perdomo to portray these emotions, too; he’s got a very raw, hoary vocal, but he’s able to modulate it really well to fit these smaller, intimate scenarios, and there’s a weight in how far it goes and how successful he is. It ties together what’s already a phenomenally tight package, in what’s easily The Dangerous Summer’s most economical release to date, and also probably one of their best. It’s just six songs without a dud among them, given the care and detail usually reserved for full-lengths, and displaying a band at their absolute best with true heart behind it. Just great stuff all around with not much else to add, really.

8/10

For fans of: Real Friends, The Maine, The Starting Line

‘All That Is Left Of The Blue Sky’ by The Dangerous Summer is out now on Molly Water Music.


Red City Radio
Paradise

Paradise feels as though it takes any expectations of what Red City Radio are and completely obliterates them before trying to build something completely new from the remains. They’ve always been associated with the American alt-punk scene that’s bred so many beloved bands, but since Garrett Dale’s move to being the band’s only lead vocalist, they’ve shown a bit more pliability than what’s typically allowed to come through. Paradise, then, feels like a considerable leap forward, not only in Red City Radio distancing themselves further from the earthy punk of their contemporaries, but being all the stronger for it. Rarely has an album from this sphere of influence sounded so jam-packed and joyous, not just anthemic, as Red City Radio take swings into classic rock bombast and stick the landing immensely. There’s much more brightness in the guitar work, where even outside of some blatant but welcome Thin Lizzy worship on Doin’ It For Love, there’s a bravado that’s pulled off excellently in the gallop of Did You Know? and Edmond Girls, or the slower, more open-ended sways of 100,000 Candles and Fremont Casino. It sounds a lot bolder, and does so without neglecting the foundations of what makes this sound great in the first place, namely in production that’s meaty and powerful, and a bass presence that greatly contributes to the momentum of it all. This is an album that does modulation well in terms of pace, but never feels sluggish or as though it’s grasping for ideas, and the fact that there’s such a playful, rubbery streak that runs through Red City Radio when it comes to their sound makes it so much more exciting.

‘Exciting’ is generally the operative word in this case as well, given that Paradise’s main thesis is to freewheel through a sense of real joy to an almost breathless degree, without sound overloaded or over-stimulated. The presence of a handful of slow-burns that feel integral rather than perfunctory accomplishes that, but it’s ultimately Dale as a vocalist who pushes it forward the most. He’s anchored in the gravel-throated affectations that are fairly commonplace among his peers, but with an almost twisted theatrical streak cutting through it, almost reminiscent in timbre of a cross between Clutch’s Neil Fallon and Randy Newman. It’s a bit cartoonish at times, but that’s more an observation than a critique, given that the lyrics of Did You Know?, Love A Liar, Edmond Girls and plenty others have the vibrancy and gung-ho attitude that makes that work. It makes for an album that’s pretty much entirely free of outright bad moments, if only because Red City Radio have such a rambunctiousness that they’re more than capable of blasting through them if necessary. It’s the most distinct they’ve ever sounded, by far, but also probably the best, given just how far from their central core they’re liable to go without much, if any negative consequence. It’s a surprise hit for the end of the year but one that’s well worth exploring, especially when Red City Radio have never been better.

8/10

For fans of: Hot Water Music, Off With Their Heads, A Wilhelm Scream

‘Paradise’ by Red City Radio is out now on Pure Noise Records.


Gone Is Gone
If Everything Happens For A Reason…Then Nothing Really Matters At All

Of all of Troy Sanders’ projects, Gone Is Gone feel by far the least immediate. They don’t have the size of Mastodon or the vitality of Killer Be Killed, though as the sort of psychedelic, progressive post-rock venture alongside Queens Of The Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwen and At The Drive In’s Tony Hajjar, that’s to be expected. This is the ‘experimental’ project after all, where they’re allowed to tap into their less-applied musical impulses and get a bit more left-of-centre. In the hands of Gone Is Gone though, that becomes a disappointingly slow and disengaging listen that, even with multiple subsequent listens, doesn’t get any better. A lot of that is to do with the overall clunk that Gone Is Gone simply seem unable to prevent themselves from straying into; it’s not an album with a great amount of flow, nor does it hit the transcendent mood or sweeping scale that it perhaps wants to. That leads to songs like Wings Of Hope which slink by on such tepid, underdeveloped atmospherics that it’s practically nonexistent as a track, or No One Ever Walked On Water and Breaks, where the clattering production wants to be more aggressive and staunch but just ends up ugly and over-mixed. The overall aesthetic of Gone Is Gone just isn’t all that appealing to listen to, regardless of which permutation they go with, and that leads to an album that not only feels directionless but lacks any sort of backbone to potentially snap everything into place. They can at least manage some solid lucidity thanks to Mike Zarin’s experience as a film composer, but that’s really all Gone Is Gone have to lean on for the majority of this album.

It also makes it difficult to single out anything particularly memorable about the performances, mostly because there’s such an uncharacteristic anonymity that permeates across the board. Sanders has the most presence as vocalist, but even his usual hollers are markedly pared back, in favour of a sleepy post-rock wispiness that, paired with the usual lucid lyrics that have vaguely apocalyptic undertones, really rinses away so much personality and identity. The other members aren’t even fortunate to get that amount of presence; their contributions can be heard, but there isn’t any momentum behind them, and when they serve as garnish for a thicker electronic backdrop, it all gets even less interesting. It’s emblematic of a side-project that has solid intentions and ideas but not a reasonable way of executing them, something which leaves Gone Is Gone drifting off with an incredibly formless album that can’t even lean into it interestingly enough. It’s as forgettable as they come on top of that, yet another example of how this album struggles to really piece anything together.

4/10

For fans of: Deftones, The Ocean, Moon Tooth

‘If Everything Happens For A Reason…Then Nothing Really Matters At All’ by Gone Is Gone is out now on Clouds Hill.


Stuck Out
Lie Through Your Teeth

A band name like that leaves Stuck Out wide open for some weapons-grade snark should the time call for it, and that’s definitely the case here because, on their newest EP, Stuck Out are simply incapable of – wait for it – sticking out. For one, they’re affixed to a very boilerplate strand of pop-punk, one that’s slightly chunkier and leans a bit more heavily on the punk side, and which has really begun to feel stale by now. The influence from The Story So Far and their ilk is plastered across Lie Through Your Teeth, and like so many in that vein, Stuck Out’s take on it is less about expanding the sound to fit their own creative path, and more a means of getting the approximation as close to the proven workable formula as possible. To be fair, there’s a bit more of an emo touch here than normal, and it gives a solid bit of stress and tension to Hollow that’s a bit different, but it doesn’t count for much when the majority can feel so rigid. Right down to Josh Walker’s Americanised accent that he’s putting on (and blocking his native Australian one which would’ve at least amounted to some more personality), Stuck Out really struggle to hit anything of their own, and while a brief listen means that isn’t too damaging, it doesn’t leave much incentive to come back for more.

It definitely has the feeling of a fairly new band finding their feet, and on that metric, Lie Through Your Teeth at least has the benefit of sounding professional on its side. The production isn’t anything unique but it’s organic and meaty enough to have an effect, and having Mikaila Delgado of Yours Truly guest on Mindless at least shows how some meaningful inroads are being made. On an industry basis, there’s a feeling of advancement that Stuck Out give off, but it barely translates to the music at all, and that can make this EP feel all the more limp and tepid. The sound doesn’t strike in any way, nor do the fairly rote and predictable set of lyrics, and when that’s a suitable assessment of all four tracks here, it just doesn’t leave much to say that hasn’t already been said innumerable times about innumerable other pop-punk bands. Stuck Out aren’t awful by any means, but they certainly aren’t a band worth screaming the praises of either, and that’s where they’re ultimately going the most wrong. At this point in their career, where they have backing and a foothold they can leverage, the ideal next step is to cultivate something of their own that can keep their momentum going; right now, they really aren’t doing any of that.

5/10

For fans of: The Story So Far, Trash Boat, Catch Fire

‘Lie Through Your Teeth’ by Stuck Out is released on 18th December on Sharptone Records.


TJ Roberts
Love, Loss, & Other Useless Things

Although on the surface it mightn’t seem like it, this is actually quite a big step forward for TJ Roberts. Not only does it come in the wake of their eponymous frontman’s upheaval from the East Midlands to Wales, but it’s also the first project for TJ Roberts as a full band. That in itself opens a lot of possibilities, especially in the self-styled ‘indiecana’ sound (namely a blend of UK indie with folk-rock and heartland tones that are quintessentially American) to broaden itself out and explore deeper avenues. It’s easy to see where that’s being brought in as well, in the vamped-up Springsteen worship of The Redundancy Song or the punt for boogie-rock swing on Passed Out On A Hollywood Sign. The problem, though, comes in how the composite parts might be represented, but bringing them together doesn’t necessarily bring out some previously unlocked quality from either of them. It’s very clear how the Americana side puts in the most work; it’s where a lot of the groove and texture can be traced to, and on the whole, it has a clearer positive representation throughout this album. That’s because it’s not something that pairs well with a more ragged, downbeat indie style, and frequently it leads to songs that can be short of momentum and begin to drag. What’s more frustrating is how the effort is clearly made in the warm, organic production and instrumentation to try and piece something together, but in the overall sapped pace and Roberts not necessarily being the most expressive singer, there isn’t much of an impression left.

The good thing is that there’s much more focus put on the writing, in which the confluence between indie attitudes and a traditionally more progressive Americana style fit much more neatly. There’s definitely more force that could be offered to hit more readily – it can be framed a bit too placidly at times, especially for some of the subject matter being dealt with – but there’s certainly a pertinence with touching on rampant job losses on The Redundancy Song, and Big Time Chances touches on the weariness that the all-go music industry can yield. Where TJ Roberts really hit their stride, though, comes with deeper introspection and depth, exploring topics like the slide into depression and apathy on Losing Money, Getting Fat, and body image on I Hope We Don’t Slow Down. They’re the moments that have the most weight across this album, something which it can muster up in patches, but not to the extent that it grabs the attention for too long. Ultimately, it feels like a collection of nice ideas that could use a bit more time to gestate, rather than feeling pretty underwhelming and undercooked for the bulk of what it tries.

5/10

For fans of: Wilco, Twin Peaks, My Morning Jacket

‘Love, Loss, & Other Useless Things’ by TJ Roberts is out now on Rose Parade Recording Co.


Words by Luke Nuttall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s