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The Open - Statues

The Open, Statues

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

LIVERPOOL-based epic rockers, The Open, have successfully put the ‘difficult’ in ‘difficult second album’.

Having won widespread acclaim for their debut, The Silent Hours, they then appeared to press the self-destruct button.

Drummer, Scott, departed because ‘it just wasn’t working’, while initial studio sessions for the sophomore effort in Wales ended in disappointment.

Vocalist and songwriter Steven Bayley even went as far as to say that he thought ‘the label probably had more faith in us than we did’.

Having conquered their personal problems, however, they have produced the second album, Statues which is reflective of their personal experiences – albeit with a hopeful stance.

Sadly, the album can prove a difficult listen. It’s as epic as we might have expected, and prone to further comparisons with the style of early Verve and Radiohead.

But you certainly have to be in the right mood to hear it and there are times when the album seems over-complex and unnecessarily sprawling.

Album opener, Forever is a classic case in point, clocking in at an almighty seven minutes, the latter part of which is all atmospheric drums and experimental electronics.

It’s designed to be emotive, tortured even, yet kicks things off on an unsure footing.

The melancholy tone is maintained for We Can Never Say Goodbye, which reflects on a destructive relationship and comes over all Doves and Manic Street Preachers. It’s a better offering and a future single.

Moment In Time is another reflective mood-record that slow-builds gracefully, while the epic Two Lovers In The Rain contains the sweep of latter-day Pink Floyd at times.

Two of the highlights are the mighty, guitar-driven My House, which injects some much-needed urgency, and the melodic Seasons of the Change, which shows that The Open can construct catchy, breezy records capable of crossing over into the indie mainstream.

Sadly, both tracks leave you pining for more of the same – which isn’t always delivered.

Statues is by no means a bad album but it is difficult to really like. It’s main appeal lies with those who veer towards darker material.

Track listing:

  1. Forever
  2. We Can Never Say Goodbye
  3. Moment In Time
  4. Lovers In The Rain
  5. Statues
  6. My House
  7. She’s Mystery
  8. Seasons Of The Change
  9. Fallen Tree
  10. Alone