Follow Us on Twitter

Four Day Hombre - Experiments in Living

Four Day Hombre, Experiments in Living

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

HOTLY-tipped Leeds outfit, Four Day Hombre, release their keenly-anticipated debut album, Experiments in Living in suitably impressive fashion by anyone’s standards.

Partly inspired by the book Among The Bohemians: Experiments In Living 1900-1939 by Virginia Nicholson, the album is designed as an exercise in freedom outside the mainstream music industry.

As such, it exists on the same epic scale as music from Elbow and The Flaming Lips, while capably realising the band’s aim of becoming ‘the quietest, most moving band and the loudest, most uplifting band in the world all at the same time’.

Songs have a habit of building slowly and giving way into multi-layered and deeply passionate soundscapes that inspire as much as the band would probably have hoped.

Breakthrough single, 1,000 Bulbs is a classic case in point – a mighty heartbreaker that was perfectly described by Radio 1’s Jo Whiley as ‘scorching and beautiful in all the right places’. It’s when comparisons with the likes of Elbow really do come to the fore.

Recent single, The First Word Is The Hardest is a similarly excellent case in point; a track that effectively does both the quiet and the loud to telling effect. Beginning softly and very low-key, it eventually builds to an almighty crescendo of drums, guitars and powerhouse vocals that showcase the band at its most ambitious.

The rest of the album is rife with themes of sadness, reflection and innocent hope.

Inertia is another great effort, a mostly tender look at regret that drips with aching melancholy before ending with an intense guitar solo.

While Three Years is just as emotional courtesy of its beautiful piano chords and Ed’s aching vocals that drift in and out of a falsetto style.

For all of the quieter, more downbeat moments there are still some uplifting ones as well.

Early on, Don’t Go Gently begins with some rousing guitars and continues to build on some excellent riffs, while drawing on some nice vocal layering for extra effect. It contains an inspiring, defiant chorus.

While the urgent, toe-tapping beats that accompany the cinematic Boy are equally uplifting and epic in scope.

Overall, therefore, Experiments in Living succeeds in getting the formula just right.

Track listing:

  1. First Word Is The Hardest
  2. Don’t Go Gently
  3. Single Room
  4. Flame
  5. Mr M
  6. Thirteenth Of The Month
  7. Boy
  8. 1000 Bulbs
  9. Inertia
  10. Three Years