Before I really get into the review I want to give a mention to Alistair Hipkin who runs Sound and Vision Music Promotions up in Scotland. He puts in a stupid amount of work to give unsigned artists and bands a platform to go and impress. Plus every now and again he will throw a band my way and I’ll review them and get them on the blog.
I’ve found a lot of talent through this little deal and the latest band to have their name float in my direction are Until We’re Winning.
Formed in October 2011 and hailing from Edinburgh Until We’re Winning are Carrie Scrimgeour (Vocals, rhythm guitar) David Miller (Lead guitar) Chris Stewart (Bass) and Josh Harris, (Drums) and what they have created is the feel good soundtrack to your summer. In short, debut albums don’t come much better than this.
For an artist opening tracks on albums can be a bit of a minefield. For me a good opener showcases for the listener exactly what the artist is all about and what to expect for the rest of the record and that is exactly what ‘Something To Believe In’ does here. The guitar work is catchy, the vocal is strong and there is a feel good factor which is impossible to ignore. That is despite an opening verse which begins ‘All I seem to say these days is keep the faith, But I don’t believe a word I say.’ Trust me on this one.
‘Being Me’ has a slightly rockier edge and in sound is not far away from a band called The Delta Rhythm who featured on the blog a week or so ago. The guitar work from Miller is more to the fore here and there is even a chance for a little solo as the tune bops along. Next up is a track called ‘Chaos’ which brings yet more glorious sing along quality with it. The band are probably going to hate me for this but I do mean this in the nicest way possible… There is a short section in the song which is structured extremely similarly to ‘Three Lions’ by the Lightening Seeds. Best known as the soundtrack to Euro 96, and World Cup 98 for England fans the world over. This is obviously a complete fluke, and I may be the only person who makes that connection but I have to say what I hear.
‘See Her’ is a far more mellow effort than what we have heard before. The backdrop is simple enough and this track gives the vocal talents of Scrimgeour a chance to shine through. It’s not even her voice (Which is fantastic by the way) which really impressed me it’s the fact that she has an ability to make you feel what she is singing. ‘You Call This Love’ sees the tempo pick back up again giving the album a really nice flow. It must also be said that the production from Guy Perchard on this record is outstanding. For example, here the 3rd verse strips back with a little effect on the vocal, and then the bridge builds the track back up again. These might seem like trivial little things but it is the overall effect which they create that is key.
It’s no secret that I am an old romantic and frankly a bit soft at heart, so the appearance of the pop ballad perfection that is ‘Exhale’ really got my attention. The track is really stripped back and the song writing has that quality of being relatable to pretty much everyone in every walk of life. Everything just hits the spot perfectly; I honestly can’t praise this song enough. If you don’t listen to anything else of this record I would urge you to move heaven and earth to get hold of this track.
The Fleetwood Mac tinged ‘My Addiction’ has the near impossible task of following the last track but it does it very well. Some good guitar work and classy production in the form of some neat vocal layering are the standout moments here. The central riff for ‘Give It Up’ leans heavily on ‘Rock and Rock Queen’ by The Subways and the song writing is reminiscent of Cigarettes and Alcohol from Oasis but the result is that you don’t know exactly how but everything is going to be alright. The addition of a male voice for a short acapella section adds another dimension to the track.
‘This Was Supposed To Be Our Day’ again offers a more stripped back feel and will provide you comfort the nest time that your football team lose the cup final. ‘Yeah we lost, that halftime pie was shockingly overpriced, and now we’ve got a 4 hour journey home, but oh well it’s not the end of the world.’
Final track ‘If It Gets You Through The Night’ sees the band bow out in rocky mood. The chorus is made for sunshine blessed sing a longs and the track sees the album come to a fittingly positive conclusion.
As you probably noticed I think that this is a fantastic record, these guys have found their lane and they are excelling in it. The vocals from Scrimgeour are brilliant and have a level of sincerity that makes you feel what she sings. The guitar work is great and the rhythm section pulls everything together flawlessly.
Making The Best Of A Bad Situation is feel good pop music at its believable and polished best. This is an album that deserves to be heard, and in all honesty there can be no higher praise.