The Gentlemen - A Candid History Of Faith, Hope, Love

Published Wednesday 27th May 2009
The Gentlemen - A Candid History Of Faith, Hope, Love
The Gentlemen - A Candid History Of Faith, Hope, Love

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 79827-15513
LABEL: Stereo Tree 8204692
RELEASE DATE: 2009-05-29
RRP: £7.49

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

I have to confess that I wasn't as gung ho about the band's debut album 'Smiling Back At Me' as everybody else around me. It just didn't connect. However, when I heard tracks from this album many months ago I was impressed by the direction the band were taking. I still wasn't convinced there was a hit single on the album but the band returned to the studio to record a new version of "I'm Not Leaving" and added "Sending Cards" which finished off the album nicely. If you've not checked them out before, Sheffield's The Gentlemen are a tight yet energetic indie rock band with driving rhythms, blistering guitars and plenty of melody. In Nicholas Noble, they have a distinctive singer and charismatic frontman who is capable of penning some intriguing songs. "Push Back" is a great album opener and gives Noble the chance to rant a little and the pair of singles are obviously pretty catchy. "Unique" sees Noble employing a falsetto so high that I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the neighbourhood dogs gathered around the studio doors. It's a fantastic song though with Sean Walsh's fluid rhythmic guitar adding a great deal. Musically, "Protest Music" sums up a lot of what is great about The Gentlemen with the Cana brothers' rhythm section, Walsh's creative guitar work and Noble's lyrics that stand up against the values of the age. However the moments when everything comes together this effectively are not sustained throughout the album and some songs feel too much like filler. And for a band aiming at the mainstream market, I'm still not convinced that this record contains the big blockbuster single that will break it open for them. The scene is packed with good indie bands and The Gentlemen are one such band but haven't quite got enough here to separate them from the crowd. It's not often that Tony Cummings and I disagree but had I been reviewing their debut I would probably have given it a 7 and upped the grade for this effort which is a clear improvement.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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