I have to confess that having downloaded the album and noticing that there was a song called Under The Milky Way, my heart sank. Coincidence? Would anyone dare to cover such hallowed ground? And if so will it be any good? And why am I asking you, the reader so many questions? I couldn’t resist and played that first. I have to say that it is great. Faithful to The Church’s iconic original, deft, delicate and definitely good enough to pass muster. Although it is an odd inclusion given that Kevin Guillickson, the man behind Radio Drive, is riding a signature sound on this album which blends accessible pop melodies with a more 80’s inflected rock sound. But I guess there is nothing wrong with tipping his hat to such great songs. A sign of good manners and great taste.
For the main part it is a collection of songs that are both anthemic and easily accessible, which play with pop sensibilities in a very New-Wave sort of way and which are built around solid guitar and keyboard riffs. On more than one occasion and particularly with Come With Me, I am reminded of Yes after they had hooked up with Trevor Horn, dropped the progressive shenanigans and reinvented themselves as a cerebral a chart band. One Life to Give changes pace somewhat, a staccato synth rhythm leads us in before dropping heavy guitars and fist in the air drama and What Went Wrong teases in the same way. I say teases because I feel that some of these more synth driven intros would be worth exploring in their own sonic right rather than always resorting to weight and density of the power chord and crunchy guitars.
That said, a competent set of songs but perhaps more variation is needed to really stand out from the crowd.