What Now - Move Like A Sinner (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
SOUTH African trio What Now aim for rock super-stardom with sophomore album, Move Like A Sinner, and seem well poised to achieve it.
Recorded by themselves in a miniscule home studio, the ensuing record offers dark, seductive songs that are dripping in hooks and huge choruses akin to some of the biggest acts around.
It’s also unlike their previous material, having been put together after band members Ryan Morris, Tyron Layley and Adam Jenkins reunited after temporarily going their separate ways following a bad spell in London.
In new guise, they fused their passion for indie, rock and pop to hone their sound and create something more radio-friendly that draws on the likes of Biffy Clyro, U2 and even Linkin Park in places.
The latter influence is evident on title track Move Like A Sinner, which combines a throbbing electronic pulse with dark riff-making as if to draw on the seductive, provocative qualities of a stripper. The verses are deeply brooding, before the big chorus explodes to life and the guitars come wailing in. It achieves everything it sets out to, complete with steamy lines like “taste the sweat from off your neck”.
Jackson underlines the band’s penchant for dark rock, even referencing Depeche Mode at times, especially during some of its more layered vocal moments – although the chorus opens up into something more befitting a bigger American rock act. It works though.
High Class is a chugging rocker that offers toe-tapping fun (and more sexual playfulness), while <>Back To Blood (Part 1) and I Want My Blood (Part 2) provide something of an epic focal point… the opening chapter stripping things back initially for an angsty intro before hitting you with some power riffs, and the second part turning up the intensity and passion with some of the largest riffs on the album.
But while they do brooding really well, they can also change pace and go for melodic. Midnight Swimmers, for instance, has a brightness about it that’s tailor-made for summer drive-alongs (it’s a Biffy Clyro moment), while Wasting Away swaps the guitars for a more electronic backdrop and another gem of a chorus (that’s made for singing along and empowering those who get behind its lyrics).
Animal, meanwhile, draws things to a close with a slow-burner that combines a bluesy lament during its verses with a blockbusting chorus designed to fill the highest reaches of the stadiums they’re surely set to be filling soon.
And Lovers & Liars concludes proceedings with another cracker that effortlessly combines layered vocals with a chorus that’s high on melody and sing-along qualities, as well as some rousing hooks.
It should be fun seeing what lies next for What Now.
Listen to Lovers & Liars:
Watch the video for Move Like A Sinner
Download picks: Move Like A Sinner, Midnight Swimmers, Wasting Away, Animal, Lovers & Liars