Follow Us on Twitter

The Travelling Band – Screaming is Something

The Travelling Band, Screaming is Something

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THE sophomore album from Manchester’s The Travelling Band unfolds in brilliant fashion before petering out towards the end.

A keen mix of folk, pop, soul, country and rock ingredients, the first half of the LP is an absolute belter setting things up for a classic in the making. Alas, it’s not fully realised, even though the remainder is worth hearing.

Album opener Fairweather Friends sets the bar high, with a folk rock classic that instantly rocks your world by virtue of its terrific chorus and near-Shins style values.

While the folk element of the band is underlined with title track Screaming is Something, which follows a mid-tempo route to pleasure complete with banjo licks and the odd stab of brass (as if to nod to fellow contemporaries such as Mumford & Sons).

Sundial, meanwhile, has a classic rock vibe that’s shot through with Americana… the riffs distinct and working well in tandem with violin and other string arrangements. It’s evidence of just how instrumentally adventurous they are, while the lyrics are easy to identify with for any travelling soul.

The quality continues on Battlescars, which once again makes good use of the guitars, adds a country vibe, and ushers in some tender vocals (as though mindful of the wounds the band is singing about). It’s almost Gomez like at times.

Magnetic Anywhere, meanwhile, showcases a more steadfastly rock side to the band and is delivered with similar relish and conviction, proving they are equally adept at folk and rock.

Thereafter, though, the album falters slightly. And it’s not so much down to a dip in quality, more than tempo and ingenuity.

Where the first five songs really captured your imagination and had you thirsting for more, the back end tracks lack the same appeal.

Under The Pavement is a little too straightforward in its country elements, Hindsight is perhaps too atmospheric for its own good, and The Horizon, Me And You somehow lacks the same rock conviction of Magnetic Anywhere. It’s more soft rock.

None of these are bad songs… just lacking the punch and energy of those that set the album’s standards so high to begin with! But don’t let that put you off of discovering The Travelling Band, as at their best they’re very, very good.

Download picks: Fairweather Friends, Sundial, Battlescars, Magnetic Anywhere, Screaming is Something

Track listing:

  1. Fairweather Friends
  2. Screaming is Something
  3. Sundial
  4. Battlescars
  5. Magnetic Anywhere
  6. Under The Pavement
  7. Hindsight
  8. The Horizon, Me And You
  9. One Dime Blues
  10. On The Rails