Folks – I See Cathedrals (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
IN building up to the release of their debut album, I See Cathedrals Folks have successfully supported both Miles Kane and Noel Gallagher. It’s easy to see why those acts were such a perfect fit.
Now that it’s unveiled, the album is perfectly in keeping with the musical sensibilities of both those acts and should effortlessly appeal to all of their followers too, not to mention a wide range of other artists.
Stretching from ‘60s psychedelia to modern day sounds, their influences are wide and varied, yet delivered in a way that also fit in with the guitar pop sound of 2012. What’s more, it’s constantly evolving too, so as to keep the listener on his toes.
Album opener My Mother combines kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll with psychedelic tendencies and is a rabble-rousing entry-point, while Avalanche combines breezy guitar pop with ELO-like harmonies. And yet, just when you think you have the measure of it, they hit you with some gritty riffs that genuinely exhilarate.
People I’ve Known, meanwhile, changes the tempo once more to maintain an acoustic, laidback vibe, complete with Beach Boys-style backing harmonies and an optimistic outlook on the end of a relationship. It’s a solid slice of song-writing and an alternative break-up anthem to get behind, complete with classic guitar solo around the two minute mark.
There’s a more contemporary lean towards the chugging riffs of Skull & Bones, which recall Queens of the Stone Age, while the punk rock intro of Do The Right Thing is a clear tipping of the hat to London Calling era Clash before going its own way in foot-stomping fashion.
It’s another of the album’s strengths, though, that it sounds just as comfortable rocking out as it is stripping things back and coming over all intimate.
Another fine example of the latter is the tender Ink, which is disarmingly simple and beautifully affecting, while the horn and piano combination that opens Where Does The White Go? recalls classic Carpenters combined with Oasis-style balladry.
Further highlights come in the form of Anywhere You Want To Go, a jangly guitar pop ode to acceptance, and the spritely piano-tinged pop of Say Something, which has another retro pop vibe surrounding it, especially over the cracking chorus.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds is a busy rocker of a song, while The Ship rounds things off in thought-provoking fashion with some sombre piano and a stark drum beat providing the backdrop to a song about another difficult relationship. Again, it hits you with another great slice of guitar work around the minute and a half mark and combines both Beatles and Pink Floyd-like tendencies.
It also ensures that you’ll be hooked to the very last second. I See Cathedrals is therefore worthy of the highest praise – it’s a cracking debut album from this Manchester based outfit.
Watch the video for Say Something:
Download picks: Avalanche, People I’ve Known, Ink, Anywhere You Want To Go, Say Something, The Ship