STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 162756-24266 LABEL: Dream FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
I was all set to review this record weeks ago. I knew Satellites & Sirens' previous albums, in fact Cross Rhythms have playlisted tracks from their 'All We Need Is Sound' and 'Breaking The Noise' EPs and 'Frequency' and 'One Noise' albums and have in the past praised their techno-tinged approach to pop rock. But then along came a review on an American website that suggested the band were "underequipped in their musical arsenal" and that their lyrics were often a "barrage of cliches." I've now listened more times to this album and I'm convinced that the American reviewer's judgments are way off base. 'Tanks' isn't creative, on-the-edge, hipster-friendly art rock. But then it never tries to be. It is music skilfully played and produced with all-round mass-audience catchiness. 'Tanks' isn't perfect (the song "Living The Dream" is just too lightweight). But for anyone to suggest that this outfit are "underequipped" is downright perverse as is to suggest their lyrics are clichéd. Satellites & Sirens' are excellent with "Chasing Photos" being an insightful suggestion that we should enjoy reality rather than living life behind an Instagram filter, while "Old Souls" ("we grow up so fast just to hate being old"); "Tanks" ("like tanks you can trust/we will crush everything with love") and "Enough" ("it's enough to just be enough") contained no cliches as far as this cliché-sensitive reviewer is concerned. Some final comments about "Enough". It turns out to be the best track on the album and indeed one of the best I've heard this year. A slowish and haunting song featuring a fine lead from guest Joel Vaughn where he offers some delicious ascents into falsetto over a multilayered wash of synths, "Enough" is a song you should definitely try and locate. Cross Rhythms' programme controller reckons 'Tanks' is Satellites & Sirens best album so far. In that it shows up frontman Geoff Hunker's growing skill as a songwriter and producer (amazingly, this is the first S&S album he has produced), I would agree.
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