Lonely The Brave

The Day's War

Written by: LF on 29/09/2014 12:06:38

British quintet Lonely The Brave have been on my radar since I first came across their melancholic name a few months ago. Since then they have released their debut album and are about to go on a UK tour with the alternative rockers in Deaf Havana. While Lonely The Brave describe their own music as doom pop, I am more inclined to use a description like "atmospheric alternative rock". "The Day's War" is overall an ambitious and well executed record and definitely not bad for a debut.

I fell, hard I might add, for the band's sound around the time when I first saw the dramatic video for one of the singles, "Victory Line". The song is big and glossy and simply vibrates with sheer hope and resolution in the face of sadness and despair, from the very first guitar chords and all the way through – conveniently illustrating the essence of the band's name to me. Vocalist David Jakes has a voice that manages to soar high above everything while also sounding hauntingly broken on most songs. He does this expertly whether he sings the hopeful "If you'll be the sky then I'll be the bird" of "Backroads", or the more steadfast "I'll see clear and I'll see that I want you" of "Deserter". The sound tugs at my heartstrings to a degree where I can't listen to it for more than five seconds before I have to give in and let it carry me wherever it wants, it's that appealing.

I've noticed that several of the songs here, most notably "Trick of the Light", in fact only go through their chorus once which is a curious thing as the choruses have some very haunting melodies. I only noticed this after having heard the songs a fair amount of times, and this is probably because Lonely The Brave compose these songs in a way where the chords and riffs follow a verse-chorus structure, while the vocal melody and lyrics are changed up after just one "proper" chorus. This approach to the songwriting intrigues me, since it obviously works in a way where I don't feel like something is missing in the song, while it also makes the song more interesting to follow.

In spite of all this goodwill that I have gathered for the band, their songwriting and their sound, the main problem with the album is that every note in every song communicates the same feeling I have been describing so far. I have certainly enjoyed listening to the album in full several times since it came out a month ago, but I can see how it wouldn't appeal in the same way to someone who isn't as in love with this exact mix of big feelings of hope and sadness. Because of the similarity in mood of most songs, the album presents itself very much like a firmly shaped unit, which also makes it hard to single songs out that are more impressive than the rest, since I can get caught up in most of them and the production of it all is impeccable. There are slight nuances to the sound however, as it varies from the darker, more violent sound of "Black Saucers", over the frantic "Island", all the way to the more calm "Dinosaurs", and the slow ballad approach of "The Blue, The Green". The variety is sadly just not quite enough for the songs to really stand apart.

While I still really dig this album, I also have a feeling that only some of the songs will stay with me for a longer time. Thus because of the similar moods across "The Day's War", the album doesn't quite get to a higher level, though it is still solid. It has been an enjoyable friend to have with me in this first month of Autumn, and if the mood I have described appeals to you in any way I'd recommend you check the album out as it could just save you from a potentially cold and miserable October.

Download: Backroads, Dinosaurs, The Blue The Green, Trick of the Light, Victory Line
For The Fans Of: Fatherson, Don Broco, Biffy Clyro, We Are Fiction
Listen: facebook.com/LonelyTheBrave

Release date 01.09.2014
Hassle Records

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