I recently wrote an article on the “difficult” second album, highlighting a variety of bands that under pressure of time, money and success either failed to meet expectations or totally fucked it up. So, you’ve got to hand it to Lonely The Brave, not only have they taken their time, but they haven’t succumbed to the lure of the big time and staked all their chips on their commercial appeal. They have instead come up with another fine record, building on the template of debut album ‘This Day’s War’, only slightly darker and a little more substantial.
The atmospheric ‘Wait in the Car’ opens proceedings at a melancholic pace with a wonderfully understated vocal before segueing into the massive ‘Black Mire’, its goose bump inducing guitar lines crawling all over the power chords and rumbling bass line. Again it’s a fairly measured track but its powerfully intense and has classic written all over it.
This arena sized intensity that is something of a signature sound for LTB pervades throughout; the meandering guitar lines of ‘What If You Fall In’ soon giving way to big riffs in the intensely hooky chorus, while tracks like ‘Strange Like I’ and ‘Boxes’ find them delivering enormous guitars and soaring vocals in no nonsense fashion. ‘Rattlesnakes’, meantime, twists around a guitar motif before reaching its own searing climax.
Another thing that shines through is the superb musicianship adding so many different dimensions to this collection. ‘Diamond Days’, for example, rolls effortlessly along in melancholic reflection, while the restrained guitars shape a laid back vibe and vocalist David Jakes shows his versatility with a great vocal. The more urgent ‘Play Dead’ then builds hypnotically to a car crash finale, whereas the clattering percussion on ‘Tank Wave’ collides into its atmospheric chords, giving it an uncomfortable air, before gaining in power and emotion on the back of another stirring vocal.‘Dust and Bones’ comes across as quite ordinary by comparison, but it’s got a good hook and links nicely with the power rock riffing and frantic beats of ‘Radar’.
However it’s closing track ‘Jaws of Hell’ that really shows what this band can do, as well as how they might develop in future. The erratic rhythms and brooding atmosphere gather in power as the track cuts back and forth, layering texture upon texture until flurries of feedback close it out. A one minute silence is then followed by ponderous piano and a poignant vocal lamenting that “time goes quicker now” to provide an enigmatic closure.
In the end, what we have here is a selection of deeply textured tracks that play to the multiple strengths of this talented band. This is the future of British Rock right here.