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Review: Obviously 4 Believers (demo)

Posted: August 2nd, 2008, by Simon Minter

The lot of a part-time reviewer is a strange one: half the time it seems like time is being taken away from listening to music I really want to hear, being instead spent piling through endless rounds of CDs from going-through-the-motions promo companies, where more art goes into the writing of a press release than into the music being desperately hailed as Something Important. It’s hard to remember the reasons for having got into this ugly scene in the first place; the occasional jolt of enjoyment to be had from one of two things:

  1. Receiving a free promotional copy of a record I was already planning on buying;
  2. Receiving a free promotional copy of a record I would never have bought, but which is a serendipitous glimpse into the world beyond my normal listening habits.

This three-track demo CD is an example of the second situation above. Far, far from the music I tend to listen to through choice these days, this is straightforward blues-based indie music, with one foot in the laddish guitar melodies of early Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene (remember the days when people genuinely, unashamedly liked those two bands?), the other in the unblinkered world of young musicians who have yet to be ground down by the relentless demands to be new, groundbreaking or boundary-pushing.

Sure, this is traditional, simple music – ‘Then I’ll Be Leaving You’ opening up like REM’s ‘What’s The Frequency, Kenneth’ before loping into a blues-scale-verse-chorus-verse-mid-paced song where you can certainly see what’s coming. However, I find it absolutely listenable. It might be the vocal style, which is more Davy Jones sensitive than Liam Gallagher growl; or it might be the sheer lack of surprises (everybody’s doing musical surprises, these days); or it might be the nostalgic twist of pleasure I get from this. Two further tracks ‘Sebastian Melmoth, You’ve Got A Nerve’ and ‘Hollow Eyed and High’ introduce, respectively, a touch of Faces-tinged piano mixed with Byrds-style western strum, and, well, a combination of the first two tracks’ styles. (I did say that this wasn’t surprising stuff).

Obviously 4 Believers (terrible name by the way lads, I’d urge a change if possible) are never going to set the world on fire. But is that so wrong? Here’s a band just getting on with things, and it’s occasionally a relief to hear that.

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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