'Life is Elsewhere' lacks depth and originality
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 22:10
In the past few years, the British indie rock scene has released the most original and diverse group of artists in recent memory. Foals sophomore release in 2010, Total” Life Forever” formed a hybrid of guitar picking flourishes found in most math-rock canons with new-wave dance beats to create a dramatic depth that bands such as The Killers could only dream of. Groups such as Alt-J and Everything Everything have created unclassifiable pop-oriented rock music filled with bi-polar eccentricity, which at one moment bears gloomy Grizzly Bear-esque harmonies at their most naked states before swerving into head on collision’s of stop-start drum lines and giant choruses. Little Comets, like the artists mentioned above showcase their own idiosyncrasies on their sophomore effort “Life is Elsewhere,” but in a more accessible manner.
Summery guitar lines and huge stadium drum sounds are at the forefront of songs such as the opener “A Little Opus” and the first single “Jennifer,” which was released on the EP “Jennifer and Other Short Stories” at the beginning of the year. The Cole brothers write impressively catchy guitar parts that often circle around Robert’s vocal melodies, which are just as catchy. The guitar line that follows the same melody found on the chorus of “Waiting in the Shadows of the Dead of Night” is the most memorable moment found on an album and is one that has a handful of parts that listeners are aching to revisit. The choruses of “A Little Opus,” “Jennifer,” and “Tense/Empty” will be heavenly earworms that will stay in your brain long after pausing the album. At times though the choruses of songs such as “Semaphores on the Lawn” and “Worry” blow by too quickly to be remembered.
The most disheartening aspect of the record is Robert Cole’s voice. He sounds far too pedestrian and too much like The Kooks’ front man for the album to have any depth. He carries the same tone throughout the album and even the best songs carry the burden of a predictable verse-chorus-bridge formula that by the last song “In Blue Music We Trust,” it feels like a chore to keep listening. And the slick guitar lines found at the beginning of the album continue though until the last moment and the band just comes off as a one-trick pony. Their loss of fuel by the end is truly disappointing considering the promise of the first five songs. If you like catchy melodies, great guitar playing, upbeat indie-rock such as The Kooks, you might dig this record. If you’re looking for exciting British indie rock, check out Foals, Alt-J, Everything Everything, Wild Beasts, These New Puritans, Bombay Bicycle Club The Futureheads. Just don’t look here.