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Mercury - Longview

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      02.09.2003 03:19
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      I found the band Longview and this their debut album ?Mercury? almost by chance. Seeing them live some time ago they put in a decent performance in a small venue, but since them I forgot until two weeks ago. The band have finally delivered a full album, and with it hit the spot for an indie band that reminds you of all the Coldplay?s, Doves and Idlewild?s of the world without actually listening to the real thing. Longview have potential, no doubt about it. They have a nice sound, the image, the songwriter and even some good songs and so on to be big, on the scale of those other bands playing the scene of indie rockers. At the moment though this fails to find exactly what it wants to do. They try to be epic, and just come down the wrong side. They try to be laid back, and you almost fall asleep. They try to rock and sound like they are just doing cover versions. The title Mercury may be an attempt to get on the shortlist for the big music prize, the album was released just a few weeks shy of those being announced. Rob McVey leads the band with the usual singer/songwriter guitarist combination, a very talented man and musician. The band are from Manchester, though only from relocation there to move with the scene. McVey is joined by Matt Dabbs (Drums) and Aidan Banks (Bass), plus guitarist Doug Morch to complete the line up. 1. Further The first track on the album was taken off as a single just before the albums release, and adds a strong touch to the start of the album. It opens the album well, classic mood setter for the album with placed guitar riffs and studio production for the atmosphere that is created. A good track, the sort you find yourself singing in your head, with the repetitive chorus, but nothing spectacular. 2. Can?t Explain Like the first track another decent enough indie number. The vocals from Rob McVey add something to all the tracks, and like this he can carry off the song. Nice touches here and there w
      ith strings and piano, but that is just about it, a decent indie song. The slightly simplistic rhyming is a bit irritating, but near the end the song gets a lot better with another very emphatic chorus. 3. Electricity Third decent song in a row, up there with the best overall from the album. It opens with a drum solo, and probably the most noticeable drumming on the album. It is tight and tidy, and controls the songs well. Another good couple of melodies and delicate work in the studio, but flows smoother as a song that the first couple. Good track 4. When You Sleep A bit of feedback starts the song, before the strong drumming and guitar riffs kick in but then slows right down. It threatens to deceive, but does emerge with a quicker pace and sounds strangely like Idlewild. Its nice to see an up tempo number, but it sounds like a poor attempt at the real thing, a bad cover version or something. Also taken as a single from the album quite recently, not too bad, but not spectacular 5. If You Asked A much slower and laid back number. The vocals are great, carrying the slower paced tune over a piano, drums and acoustic guitars. It works well with all the background noise, and delicate backing vocals sound good. Again there is the habit of making simplistic couplets to rhyme, but that is a side issue again here. A good enough mood song, but there are better songs than this out there. 6. I Would Another slower paced track. Again the vocals are left to take centre stage, above a bare background of the rest of the band. The track has a nice pace to it, gently swaying along, while containing some nice melodies again. A much better quality song, they don?t rush through it and very well constructed. There is just the clumsy lyrics (bit off more than I could chew/for you) 7. Nowhere A quicker paced song, but again manages to sound very much like Idlewild. They rely a bit too much of the vocals to set them aside,
      barely managing it here. Good guitar riffs with the energy and speed to make you tap your toes, and a nice rhythm throughout. A good chorus here picks up the song if it ever threatens to drag. A nice enough song, not intimidating but has been done before, and better. 8. Falling for You The band manages to keep up a good quality of tracks throughout the album, without making any bad jokes about them all being poor. A simple song, nice vocals again but good music as well playing in the background. They use the backing vocals again for effect, and it still sounds good. Its a love song that threatens to be a little cheesy, but pulls through 9. Falling without You The title may be quite similar to the last track, but they sound two totally different tracks. This is a much more moody and darker song, with only a guitar accompanying the vocals plucking away. Not really a great song, it builds up a bit near the end but is happy to slowly move along. Nice strings in the back though. 10. Still Decent track, like some moments on the album they try to be epic with the intro with a wall of noise and putting lots of strings in. It just does not work too well, the result if a bit off and so makes it a bit harder to listen through. They need to thing of some better titles here, maybe running short on imagination. The guitars are less prominent; most of the better songs are when they go back to the simple stuff. 11. Will You Wait Here More of the good stuff, its different to the previous track with a slightly quicker place and more guitars. Still quite a melodic tune, the vocals carry the song sounding like they want to rush off, and when the song finally does come together after about two minutes it is a nice listen close to the end of the album. I like this song, strength in depth to put it here where it could be closer to the start. 12. This Is Nice slower number to end the album. More very good vocals put the
      polish on to end the album. The song is nothing too spectacular though, nothing dissimilar to the rest of the album stuff. Very little accompanying music, but moves a quite a decent pace and mellow enough to relax to. Overall this is not a bad album. You can put it in your collections, and every so often when you feel like a change from the normal wave of current bands they can sound fresh. They do a good live show, and there are some good tracks on this album, I?ll give them all that. However the album just fails to totally satisfy, a bit limp and wet. Longview are a talented band, and have the potential to be a lot bigger. Hopefully they can improve on this album to move onto those bigger things.

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