The beauty of running a blog like this is the fact that every day is different. I receive such a wide range of music it not only keeps things interesting for me but also for you people out there in reader land. For example yesterday I brought you a review of the current record from metal band Driven and today I have a review of the brand new EP from indie outfit Tourist Attractions.
Straight out of Blackburn Tourist Attractions are Daniel Walsh (Lead vocals/guitar) Connor Synnott (Backing vocals/bass) Rory Gilsenan (Guitar) and Oliver Bradshaw (Drums) The band formed back in April of last year, playing their first gig on 20th July and releasing their debut single ‘Heartless Man’ last December. And now almost a year to the day from the bands formation here they are with their debut EP ‘Dusk.’
Opening track ‘Silhouette’ is a brilliant way to start things off. I like the idea of using drums as an intro; you don’t get that too much at the minute. The central guitar riff is the main driving force as well as being nice and catchy. The vocal delivery from Walsh is reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys front man Alex Turner. Sometimes the similarity in voice really is quite striking but there is enough distance between the two so that it doesn’t come off as sounding like a cheap imitation.
It’s a slightly geeky thing to say but I really like the structure of the song as well. The first half is pretty much as you would expect but then things get interesting. There’s almost a breakdown and the track becomes nigh on an instrumental with just a ‘far away’ sounding vocal occasionally drifting in and out. It’s a nice touch and something a little bit different.
‘Heartless Man’ has a touch of Razorlight about it. (Remember them!?) The track has a lighter feel to it and really skips along. I love the guitar work and the vocal style isn’t just copied and pasted from the first track, so there’s a bit of versatility. This song definitely goes down as one of the highlights of the whole project.
The following track ‘Blazing Sun’ is a bit of a throwback to the heady days of the mid 2000’s when there seemed to be an absolute plethora of quality indie bands coming through. The Radio 1 playlist was dominated by catchy little indie tunes, and had this track been released back then it would have been right at home among them. The vocal suits the track perfectly, the bridges link everything together seamlessly and guitar work is simple enough but compliments everything so well. I listened to this song with the sun beaming in through my window and with a cold drink in my hand and you know what, it just felt right. This is probably my favourite track on the EP.
Final track ‘Lovers & Dancers’ is much the same as what went before it, and that is high quality indie music. I’m an old romantic at heart and I just love the title of the song, it just fits the sound and there is something warm in its simplicity. The song itself is the longest on the record but I think it suffers for this a little bit. It’s not as compact as the other songs and seems to lose its way slightly as it wonders towards a conclusion. It’s still perfectly fine as a song and it may well grow on me in time but I think that the tightness that holds the rest of the tracks together so well is missing here and that is to the detriment of the song as a whole.
As far as debuts go ‘Dusk’ really is a fine effort. If like me you look back upon the indie bands of a decade ago with a certain nostalgic fondness then this is the band and the record for you. It has got that classic indie feel but manages to sound current at the same time. All the songs stand alone as great tracks but also flow together really well as body of work; the production is also top drawer.
Up until a few days ago when I thought of tourist attractions I saw rubbish leaflets encouraging you g to go and visit a grassy hill in middle England while stopping in at the local tea rooms for scones. But now I have had to re-adjust these thoughts. It turns out that Tourist Attractions are 4 talented musicians from Blackburn, and they are very very good.