Somewhat Romance, Somewhat Poetry – The Guilty Lenses (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Anything that puts me in mind of the songwriting of Del Amitri’s Justin Currie is always a good thing, and lyrically at least, there are plenty of similarities to be found here. The same everyday narratives, the same matter-of-fact deliveries, the ability to turn the minutiae of the day to day into semi-mythological stories…not the sort that makes the history books but those that get jotted down in the back of adolescent journals. Which in many ways is better, or at least more authentic.

And musically, I guess they are not a million miles away either but The Guilty Lenses seem to go for more staccato rhythms and have that same angst and energy which fuelled the New Wave sound back in the day, which is cool.

Dance Bar Blues is, ironically, neither dance nor blues but a punchy, punky alt-rock groover with unexpected breakdowns blending outsider cool with pop accessibility. Payback sees them move with a more sultry swagger, Prima Donna appropriates a shonky, country boogie and Streetlights is a gnarly, growling rock workout occasionally possessed by an apocalyptic blues sonic poltergeist.

It’s great. It is neither a nod to the past nor a look to the future and yet it is also both. I’m not sure what I mean by that but if you give the album a spin, it will make perfect sense.

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