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The Splendour - Best Way To Make Money

The Splendour, Best Way To Make Money

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

THE Splendour was formed by respected Brighton muso Justin Gourlay, intent on making snappy, chunky indie rock songs for the masses to enjoy. He’s been only partially successful.

For Best Way To Make Money, Gourlay recruited John Crick (guitar) and Greg Houghton (bass) and then got together with Dan Swift, producer of Kasabian, Art Brut and Aqualung. The potential is certainly there.

But while the debut LP is by no means a bad listen, it’s also pretty pedestrian, flitting between the angular guitar style of acts such as Franz Ferdinand and the more melodious likes of The Shins.

Album opener Put Me Into Bed is an example of one of the brighter tracks, opening amid some shameless Beach Boys harmonising, before galloping breezily into quite a catchy indie-pop number (although Gourlay’s vocals do sound hopelessly comparable to Franz Ferdinand).

Less successful, and an example of the album at its more average, is Wrong, the track that immediately follows. It’s edgy, angular rock that is beginning to sound a little stale.

Needless to say, the album that follows can easily be divided into two distinct camps. At its best, there are songs like Missus, with its almost folksy guitar riffs, Hope You’re Alright and Big America to enjoy – all of which offer variations on the more straightforward Splendour sound.

But elsewhere, Language Of A Lady and Audio sound a little over-familiar and fail to capture the imagination as much as the sound of the band at their most creative.

The Splendour are accomplished, and they’ve clearly benefited from the production talent of Swift, but it seems they’ve decided that “the best way to make money” is by following a tried and tested indie formula… and that just might be their undoing.

Download picks: Put Me Into Bed, Big America, Hope You’re Alright, Missus, Fantasy Girl

Track listing:

  1. Put Me Into Bed
  2. Wrong
  3. Language Of A Lady
  4. Audio
  5. One Finger
  6. Money
  7. Missus
  8. Hope You’re Alright
  9. Fantasy Girl
  10. Deli
  11. Anytime
  12. Saturday Night
  13. Big America