Thursday, 26 May 2016

Album Review: NOBODIES BIRTHDAY - "All You Ever Want Is Everything"

When the first line of a newly released album is spat out with a Liam Gallagher drawl (Pleased to meet you / you'll never forget my name) it would be easy to assume you're listening to the latest in a long line of indie bands trying to bring back the halcyon days of 1995 era Britpop.

But listen on, and Nobodies Birthday's debut album is much deeper than that. Yes the influences are clear and the band unashamedly borrow from the likes of Ride, The Stone Roses and of course, Oasis.  But not only have they used these influences to create their own sound, they also manage to move seamlessly between styles on "All You Ever Want Is Everything". 

While opener "Take My Time" is all angry guitars and snarly vocals, the album quickly moves on to NB's lighter side with "So High", complete with hazy sound effects of what sounds like a late night babble of band banter. "Lemonade Wages" is the first to showcase the guitar talent of the band with a superb opening riff before the woozy vocals kick in. The album swiftly goes full-on pop with "Boomerang" which has a melody and lyrics that wouldn't be out of place on a Now! album (You are my boomerang / come flying back to me x100).

Things get serious again with one of the standout tracks, recent single "She's The World" which was already improving with every listen, and within the context of the album somehow becomes even stronger. It's probably singer Dom Rolfe's best moment on the album as he moves from tender verses to a genuinely uplifting chorus.

That's quickly followed by another switch in style, to the fantastically upbeat re-worked version of "Hiding In The Dark". Almost unrecognisable from the single version of the track, but thankfully guitarist Ryan O'Brien's superb work is still there, brought to life by a quicker beat and much more powerful vocals.  "Benefits" brings heavier guitars into the mix but doesn't quite hit the mark, although that may be partly due to the fairly abysmal lyrics (in between the wo-oh-ohs).

Any fears the album is petering out into generic three minute rock and roll ("Timewaster", "White Knuckle Ride") are put to bed with the brilliant "No Secrets".  This song has everything - a rousing drum intro, brooding verses and a big emotional chorus. Without doubt the standout track of the album, and it's followed swiftly by another highlight with closer "Jigsaw Pieces". This is another change of pace and after a storming guitar intro the chorus moves the album back to the poppier end of the Nobodies Birthday spectrum. A fitting closer, a nice contrast from the Oasis-esque opener, and a reminder that Nobodies Birthday are not just a 90s tribute act, but the real deal.


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