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The Brights – A Trivial Pursuit

The Brights, A Trivial Pursuit

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THEY’RE called The Brights and their music conforms to that mind-set. It’s upbeat, ’80s influenced indie pop that puts a smile on your face.

And yet, in spite of its youthful exuberance and toe-tapping tendencies, A Trivial Pursuit falls short of classic status. Rather, it’s a fun listen while it lasts but one that drifts quickly from the memory.

Still, if you grew up getting your musical jollies from the likes of The Smiths, The Housemartins, The Style Council and Pale Fountains, then there’s plenty here to savour.

David Burgess and his Essex-based cohorts are, by their own admission, advocates of the great British pop song – which means remaining unashamedly optimistic even while being aware of the world around them.

This serves them well, ensuring that their songs come with a knowing sense of time and humour that mixes well. Lead single and Xfm favourite A Cameo Can’t Last Forever is a classic case in point… a shimmering little pop song that really does recall The Smiths in their heyday.

Album opener Footsteps is also a smart little mover and the sort of kick-start a debut album deserves.

And Monday Lives Next Door combines bittersweet vocals with some Beach Boys-esque “ba ba ba” harmonising to ensure that the feel-good vibe remains.

Just occasionally, their particular guitar sound gets a little repetitive and A Trivial Pursuit then begins to stand out more among the moments they mix things up.

Barricade of Love, for instance, drops a chiming, yet almost melancholy central riff and initially slows down the tempo to satisfying effect. It does quickly pick up the tempo, but remains lower key and reminiscent of The Bluetones vocally. It’s a personal favourite. Likewise, Pride Step Aside.

Hands Across The Ocean also carries a pretty addictive old-school Smiths vibe in its guitar work, while London Belongs To Me bops along in confident fashion as if mixing Housemartins harmonising with Smiths and Style Council guitars.

But perhaps the feeling of over-familiarity has begun to kick in a little too much by then and the brightness of their early momentum begins to fade. I departed the album pining for another Barricade of Love moment, whereas instead I got a reprise of Memories of You, another breezy Smiths-styled offering.

Still, A Trivial Pursuit isn’t bad for a first effort.

Download picks: A Cameo Can’t Last Forever, Barricade of Love, Monday Lives Next Door, Pride Step Aside

Track listing:

  1. Footsteps
  2. A Cameo Can’t Last Forever
  3. Monday Lives Next Door
  4. False Alarms
  5. Barricade of Love
  6. Pride Step Aside
  7. Hands Across The Ocean
  8. London Belongs To Me
  9. Memories of You
  10. Promises
  11. Memories of You (Reprise)