The Slow Readers Club, Build A Tower - album review
There are few better feelings for music lovers - that sudden, excited rush in your chest when a record kicks in and 20 seconds into the first song you just think...'I'm going to like this'.
This is exactly what we experienced as the broody yet hopeful Build A Tower began, the third record from Mancunian starlets The Slow Readers Club.
Like White Lies, Foals, Editors and Sisters Of Mercy before them, they pair deep and powerful vocals with guitars and keys to build a current of high-voltage feeling through fully immersive, epic songwriting.
There are some fantastic pieces of work from the off. Opener Lunatic lives up to its title. Mixing more of an upbeat dance vibe in with their atmospheric core it creates a brilliantly lifting strata that thuds along thanks to the delicate-yet-forceful percussion of David Whitworth.
Straight away we have a sound reminiscent of those chart toppers Foals in Supernatural. That twanging guitar sound helps the verse flow along serenely before a wall of sound erupts for the choruses to catapult an already inwardly dancing listener to new heights of euphoria.
Then we have the record's highlight - You Opened Up My heart. That dangerous sounding bassline and scattered guitar warns of an impending danger, and it arrives with the chorus. This is an absolute beauty of a track that from start to finish is exactly what this corner of the musical world is about.
Vocalist Aaron Starkie must be a Morrissey fan, too. Not Afraid Of The Dark could sit proudly in The Smiths' catalogue, but far from just sounding like a dedication to a hero it carries its own bite, particularly in the high-pitched chorus that sets pulses racing with the petrified serving of guitar and keys swirling around it.
The outro to closer Distant Memory is a highlight as well. A very stadium-rock-era-Editors sounding track it bubbles along nicely until an explosive outro really makes an impression with crashing symbols and staccato vocals from Starkie.
This is a fantastic listen, and fans of that whole post-punk, synth-led era simply have to give this a listen. They will not be disappointed.
The Slow Readers Club play at Wolverhampton's Slade Rooms on Thursday, May 17th