‘Good’ by The Stevens (Album)
This lo-fi four-piece put a lot into their short songs, but could be more selective putting together the track list
It’s fair to say that Australia knows how to do understated pop-rock. This year has already seen the likes of The Smith Street Band and Animal House releasing standout records. Now it’s the time for The Stevens to show us what the Aussies are made of.
The band have supported the likes of Wire and The Wedding Present, and completed from their first US tour. Their latest album Good is 18 short bursts of lo-fi guitars topped with a smattering of spacious synths.
Opening song Chancer is a strong start to the album; the band’s follow-up to their 2014 debut A History Of Hygiene. The shiny guitars and airy double vocals float from the speakers and fill the room. The song seamlessly materialises into the next song Grandstands, which is very similar in sound and style to its predecessor.
On King Hit we hear more from the synth, while the guitars are more focused and direct. This change of form grabs your attention at the perfect time. Had the band not have switched it up at this point then the album might have died before it truly got started.
Escape From Party Island is exactly that. The track provides an instrumental interlude, before the catchy guitars on song Cruiser picks up the pace, again.
Those first five songs would make a strong EP, as there is plenty of variation within the music regarding style and pace. However, the album’s 18 songs are probably too many to keep listeners interested for the duration.
It’s important to leave people wanting more, and even though the songs are short, a 10-track album would have been better.
Verdict: At times it feels more like a demo than an album