9 PM – Because Villains (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If the previous single, Goodbye, felt like an exercise in what would happen if someone wrote a stadium-ready song which blended both brains and sonic brawn, 9 PM is a much more subtle affair. But, just like before, it is happy to show its working out. In fact, it feels like what would happen to a song if you presented it as an exploded diagram, exposing the relationship between the elements and putting their full purpose and properties on display.

It’s a sultry and slow grooving song, one of which wanders from one bar to the next, in both senses of the meaning, building musical weight and momentum as it goes, examining muddled thoughts and feelings, hopes and emotions as it goes. There is a bleary-eyed romanticism to the song, wrought through the slow descent into oblivion, a drowning of sorrows, and chance to forget reality for a while but also through the wonderfully meandering music, a dark sonic pathway illuminated only by deft guitar licks and layers of harmonies.

9 PM runs at an almost glacial pace but it is proof that it isn’t always speed and delivery which creates impact, it is possible to do so through slow-burning builds and beguiling, understated rhythms. Once again Because Villains offer an alternative route to the commercial heart of the music industry. It’s charms being that whilst most bands who are in a rush to impress the mainstream would join dots A to B via straight lines, obvious musical routes and well-travelled sonic paths, here we have a band happy to take creative roads less travelled.

They say that it is better to travel well than it is to arrive. This song travels creatively and still arrives ahead of the pack. It’s a win-win situation if you ask me.

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