Heartfelt, honest and heady.
Michael Quinn 2009-04-16
You have to admire an album that smacks of the lonely bedsit confessional but swells and soars with one stadium-filling anthem after another. Album number two from former Joe Strummer collaborators Anthony Genn and Martin Slattery positively scorches with the searing intensity you would expect of the former Clash frontman.
Whether Strummer would have approved of the characteristically slick, sleek and knowing production by Flood, is another matter, but The Hours have pulled a master stroke in getting him to helm See The Light. Get past the meticulously manicured surface and what's underneath is something refreshingly raw and passionate with a blistering warts-and-all honesty that cements the promise of 2007's Narcissus Road to emphatic effect.
Glen and Slattery react to Flood's nothing out-of-place production as if it were an act of deliberate provocation to their take-no-prisoners ambitions. If the revolution is to be televised, as forewarned in the Pulp-like glass-half-empty The Girl Who Had The World At Her Feet, See The Light will feature prominently in the soundtrack.
Gloves are off from the start, the bristling Ultravox-with-balls lead single Big Black Hole (a treatise on depression since you ask) merely hinting at what’s to come. But for every blissed out glow lighters-in-the-air invitation like Come On there's the snarling, demented Doberman of the post-relationship Car Crash. And in between, the murky melancholy of Never See You Again and the bright malevolence of Love Is An Action. There's more than a nod to the dance floor throughout with Calvin Harris delivering a disappointing re-mix of the title track.
There's something epic about it all, but it's never less than pointed and personal as surfaces splinter and edges fray under Slattery's tsunami-like piano lines and Glen's perfect storm vocals. In all: heartfelt, honest and heady.