Monday, June 4, 2012

REVIEW: Being There - Breaking Away

Rarely has the sound of growing up, conflicted by uncertainties about the future and mixed emotions about the teenage years, sounded so damn good.  But listening to Breaking Away numerous times in writing this review, the quality is manifest.  Being There has a knack for melodies and note-perfect fuzzy and chiming guitar hooks that will remind you of classic Teenage Fanclub.  The songs are well written and contain a warm dose of self-depreciating humor.  And the slightly understated vocal delivery manages to sound sincere without being too earnest.  Of course, none of this would be too surprising from a long term band that had honed its craft over the years, made their mistakes and emerged on the other side as professionals.  But Being There are four young men who formed the band in late 2010 after meeting at Manchester University.  They spent 2011 touring in support of other acts, such as Noah and the Whale and Los Campesinos!, and put out a single.  They then recorded their first album in two weeks, and have began to tour to support it.  Clearly, these guys are on the advanced track.

"The Radio", which previously was released as a single, is my first choice to demonstrate the great sound of this album --

Breaking Away begins with distorted guitars and a drum beat evocative of "Just Like Honey", then launches into the Guided By Voices-style indie classic "Back to the Future".  The fast-paced title track is followed by the wistful "Tomorrow".  And then we have another of my favorite tracks, "To Allen Ginsberg" --

Breaking Away has a noisy, C-86 feel overall, but the band ably changes pace and provides some slower tempo songs as well.  Still, in an album full or gems, the faster, noisier ones shine brightest.  One of such is "17", is the album's first single --

Being There are Sammy Lewis (vocals and guitar), James Robinson (bass and vocals), Tom Rapanakis (drums), and Nick Olorenshaw (lead guitar), and they now are based in London.  Making good decisions can make a career, and this band is showing good instincts.  For a label, they choice London's wonderful Young and Lost Club, which Lewis had worked with as a solo performer; for a producer, they chose Richard Formby, who has worked with Spectrals and Wild Beats.  They've toured with experienced bands, and played well known festivals.

Breaking Away is available today, June 4.  And I highly recommend you check it out.  This guitar pop album may be the score to your epic summer adventures.

"Back to the Future" --

Twitter ( @_BeingThere )
Young and Lost Club

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