The Storys Town Beyond The Trees Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

They'll find an audience when they find some better songs.

Harry Holgate 2008

Since rock music was born there has been a tendency for British bands to take inspiration from their US counterparts. After all, they had Elvis, we had Cliff. They also had Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Eagles and we split Fleetwood Mac. All of these are counted amongst the influences on Welsh band, The Storys.

The band take these influences and run with them, and on the opening track, Long Hard Road, liberate twanging guitars, the odd smatter of organ and harmoniously delivered lyrics from the school of ''the road is long and tough but my baby etc. etc. etc.''. Ok, so you can write about whatever you please, but which road is it? The Mumbles road? The A48? Something doesn't sit right here.

While their Irish cousins, the Thrills, plundered the easy sound of surf rock from their imagined visit to the West Coast, Town Beyond The Trees comes straight from truck-stop, dad-rock country, which is somehow less forgivable for being achingly serious in its self-mythologising and average in its delivery.

Counterpoint this with lyrics taken from the big book of ''take my hand / feel my soul'' (Feeling Something) ''I would pull the stars out of the sky'' (Nobody Loves You) and the picture is complete. If Keane and Bryan Adams decided to join forces and hand over songwriting duties to the pop-idol version of The Eagles then it may well sound a little like this. It's very much a shame as, behind the fawning soft rock, the band are musically solid. And if the lead singer could be persuaded to sing in his own accent then things would improve greatly.

This doesn't mean to say that the American angle is necessarily a bad road to travel; many many bands have made a great fist of musical styles not native to their own country. It's simply that this is the outpourings of the cliché factory. Maybe this is an attempt to broaden their appeal and find a new audience. They'll find an audience when they find some better songs.

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