Album Review: Blaenavon – That’s Your Lot

By on Monday, 5th June 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Blaenavon That's Your Lot album coverIt’s an interesting and somewhat unorthodox path the trio better known as Blaenavon have tread prior to the release of their debut album. After meeting at school and playing music together since 2013, Ben Gregory, Frank Wright and Harris McMillan decided to take things easy for a few years on the music side, instead focusing on finishing up their A Levels. Then they released some music again, starting with 2015’s ‘Miss World’, before going on to share a bunch of new stuff in 2016. Their debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’ was released earlier this spring on Transgressive Records.

This an ambitious first album when you consider the youth of the guys behind Blaenavon. The music that they’ve created on the album is nuanced and mature in sound, with Gregory’s voice echoing Morrissey’s dour pipes at times, and with jangly guitar moments tapping into Vampire Weekend’s intoxicating festival feel. It’s a rich and dense debut album, suggesting that given room to grow, the threesome will move on to even more interesting stuff.

‘Orthodox Man’, which has racked up nearly a million plays on Spotify, is one of the most appealing tracks on the album, with Gregory singing a range of ohhhs throughout, paired with a hazy, balmy vibe from the guitar and drums, reminiscent somewhat of Theme Park. ‘Take Care’, which opens the album, has a gentle start, before picking up and again puts vocals front and centre, and again hints at an easy-going feel. They’ve definitely released that album in good time for the summer months. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, some music just makes me feel like the longer and brighter days of summer have arrived.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VxmbYaNUDY[/youtube]

First released in 2016, ‘Let’s Pray’ is an upbeat track that trundles along with charming hooks, and, like much of the album, lays bare Gregory’s vocals. The song sees Gregory singing, “let’s pray for death” atop a contrastingly cheery guitar rhythm. ‘Lonely Side’, which positively bubbles along with its piano and guitar, is another track whose lyrics (“I walk the lonely side / I walk the lonely side”) are in stark contrast with the buoyant music.

An album standout is ‘Prague ’99’, which felt like I’d already heard it before upon first playing the track, with echoes of other bands, particularly the opening moments that are reminiscent of the xx. Gregory sings, “it’s you I said / you keep running through my head / I swear it so” in the chorus, before a spirited Imagine Dragons-esque riff breaks out. Then there’s ‘Swans’, which at 8 minutes long is an ambitious step into the almost slightly too self-indulgent. Yet somehow, it works, with Gregory’s voice sounding like Bastille’s Dan Smith. The track starts slowly, with music and momentum lifting throughout the track, before dropping off and laying bare the vocals at the final moment.

This is an album that’s definitely worth a listen, particularly if indie is your bag. It’s a big statement from such a young group of guys, both lyrically and musically, and I’m excited to see where the trio go next.

7.5/10

‘That’s Your Lot’, the debut album from Blaenavon, is out now on Transgressive Records. To read more of TGTF’s coverage of Blaenavon, follow this link.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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