Prides: The Way Back Up review – focus-grouped, stadium-sized sound

(Island)

The days when bands, bereft of new ideas, would use their second or third album to create a stadium-sized sound seem to be over. Now, the likes of Bastille, Imagine Dragons and Prides come stadium-sized as a starting point – in the latter’s case, that means a synth-heavy debut that sounds like Chrvches hooked up to an air pump. From hearts that beat “like timpani drums” to the radio-friendly “wahey-ooh” chants, almost everything about this album is BIG. Sadly, the one thing that isn’t is a sense of identity: the Glaswegian trio’s sound feels one-trick and focus-grouped; they could be any of a number of new bands doing the rounds at the moment. On It’s Not Gonna Change, Stewart Brock’s Scottish accent reveals itself, and you get a glimpse of a more soulful Caledonian sound – but it is soon bludgeoned by echo-laden drums and fizzing synths that could dissolve teeth.

Contributor

Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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