I’m really glad that Phil Wilson came back to music; I’ve enjoyed his solo work quite a bit since that triumphant return, but I’m really excited for his music with The June Brides too. Seems like the old band is back together, and finding themselves on the only home that’s fitting, Slumberland Records. This feels like listening to the guitar playing that spawned a revolution of wandering indiepop fans. They’ll be releasing their new She Seems Quite Free 7″ on September 1st; it’ll probably be the best thing you can get yourself as a post-Labor Day treat. Feels too good to listen to this track. Must stop. Your turn.
It wasn’t too long ago that Being There released their debut record, but several spins into Breaking Away and you’ll see the growth in the London four piece. The guitar playing is tighter, and the recording maximizes the pop sensibility of the group. If you’re in need of a good pop rock record, then your best bet for 2013 is to begin here.
“Allen Ginsberg” gently begins things, with nothing more than the quieted vocal and a gliding guitar track. While it’s the first track on the album, it’s also one of those that dictates the sincerity of the group. But, they’re not eager to lay down an album’s worth of mellow pop tunes, jumping immediately into “Back to the Future.” For me, the drumming wins out on this track, providing the backbone for the guitars to dig their way into your auditory heart. Slight bits of twang during the chorus serve to bring the melody back into focus.
While I definitely appreciate the presence of upbeat numbers on Breaking Away, there’s a soft spot for the mellower tunes, like “Infinity.” The ringing guitars accompanied by acoustic strumming are reminiscent of some of my favorite tracks by The Lucksmiths, so it’s easy to see why I gravitate towards such moments. Perhaps their brightest moments though come when they combine both elements, such as Being There does on the six-minute killer, “Silent Runner.” You’ll hear a jingling tambourine steadying the track, with a nice melody warmly sung atop it all, but they play with the tension levels too. There are bits of atmospheric guitar noise that swells midway through, making it more than just an average pop ballad.
Hints of a modern indie pop-gaze influence appear in songs like “Tomorrow” or “The Radio,” but I suggest you hold up to one of the more special songs that awaits near the end. “17” is perhaps the hidden gem that many people with attention disorders might skip, due to its late presence. I like the tonal changes in the mix for the vocals, but I also appreciate the steady pacing of the drums that work together with cascading guitar chords. It’s a special moment that I’ve continuously played outside of my review purposes.
All in all, Being There have done an exceptional job of upping the ante from their first effort. Sure, there are some derivative pieces here, but the overall feeling of the record more than makes up for that. There’s enough mixture in the placement of songs to dictate repeated pleasure for listens all the way through, yet there’s also stand-out tracks that you can include in your mixes for friends. Breaking Away is your chance to enjoy the simple pleasure of good pop music, and hopefully go on and share it with the world.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/The-Radio.mp3]
Download:Being There – The Radio [MP3]
This is perhaps my favorite discovery of the weekend, so I hope it makes your Monday an extra special one. Being There are an up-and-coming London act, making waves by pretty much killing an old school alternative sound. Their album, Breaking Away, comes out early next year on January 29th, and I promise you that it’ll warm your heart. The pacing of the tracks, like the one below, is steady, with hints of distortion on the guitars; the vocals are soft, almost whispered, creating an incredible effect. I’m really hoping huge things happen for this band; this record deserves all the love it can get.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/The-Radio.mp3]