Freunde der eingangs erwähnten Bands aus Manchester brauchen auch ein Herz für nasalen (Harmonie-)Gesang, Westcoast-Pop und Americana, um mit The Travelling Band glücklich zu werden.
‘Passing Ships’ gets the album off to a slow if incredibly catch start. While the music might not stand out from the crowd, the lyrical imagery captures the attention.
The record seamlessly transitions through from indie pop to very spacey, rock. There is a slight hint of Arctic Monkeys, which is fantastic. Some of the biggest highlights include ‘Hands Up’, which is the last album on the track. The pace of the song is amazing, the grunge, the rawness….it’s incredible. It’s an interesting departure right at the end of the record.
The instrumentation of ‘Borrowed and Blue’ is also fantastic. Similar to ‘Hands Up’, it is heavier than the rest of the album and a little darker. If anything, this is much more appealing than the happy pop of the first half of the record. The spacey, borderline psychedelic guitar, is a tasty addition to the song as well, and gives the music a much clearly individual identity to what went before.
Lyrically, there are some lines throughout the album that are a little cliché, and some that are difficult to decipher. But then in songs like ‘Sticks and Stones’ they have lyrics that are blunt, hones and directly reflect what they are thinking, such as “the world has gone to shit, and everything you’ve done is wrong.”
All in all, this album isn’t necessarily a MUST listen to, but it certainly worth checking out.
(For Folk's Sake)
Now though, The Travelling Band seem to have found more confidence in their own voice. There’s still plenty of the honeyed harmonies and reverb-soaked guitars throughout The Big Defreeze, but there’s a distinctly British seam running throughout. ‘Making Eyes’ has the bounce and punch of a Britpop anthem, closer ‘Hand’s Up’ begins with a spray of Suede-esque glammed-up guitars, while the sprawling psychedelia of ‘Borrowed And Blue’ is much more Pink Floyd than Grateful Dead. Each and every track on the record has an anthemic, confident quality, ably supported by subtle touches of strings, piano and massed voices.
It probably helps that the band have spent a big chunk of time on the road before putting these tracks to tape – it's something like three years since their last LP. You get the sense that these eleven songs have been pushed and pulled in all directions on stage already, and can easily be amped up and expanded if needed. The Big Defreeze is easily the pick of anything that The Travelling Band have put to tape so far, and proves that they’re more than a great act to catch on stage. If you’re a fan of unashamedly anthemic indie-rock, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here.
(Drowned In Sound)