Live indie-rock softened for the soul pours through as the brand new creative album from Theredspirit hits the scene.
Leading with a certain balance between the rhythm and grit of rock, and a more gentle, shoegaze-esque approach, Rebel Without French Fries keeps things organic and intimate, whilst providing more than a few infectious riffs, hooks and grooves to draw you in.
You And My Doggo is the opener and clearly in keeping with the creatively free nature of the writing and titles presented by Theredspirit. The song is hopeful, colourful, the vocal sound a little Elliott Smith-like, the rock sound elsewhere presenting about as close to the live experience as we can get right about now.
It’s a quiet leading voice, often meaning that the lyrics take something of a back-seat the first time around. The following song Lucky Day softens the soundscape weight though, feeling a little Eels-inspired, laying bare the vocal more clearly – allowing that unique tone and those intricacies to connect in a more memorable way.
From here on in the sound is easily recognisable, and this, combined with these thoughtful and fearless concepts, helps give the act a clear sense of identity.
Never Gonna Happen keeps things moving and injects the first easily memorable, catchy hook line, along with another warm, uplifting, guitar-led soundscape that’s easy to love. Your Mind follows with a certain pop-rock swagger and equally memorable central line. Beach-side vibes prove hypnotic on the instrumental front, and the overall finish is gentle yet energising as it fills the room.
With Just A Stranger, a choir-like support helps reinforce a mighty sense of unity and possibility. Throw in a few unexpected synths and instrumental breaks, and the song quickly becomes a highlight from the album. Melodically engaging, musically calming, colourful.
Ever Since You Doubted Me is another definite highlight – a strong starting riff creates a classic emo-rock mood, and breathy, vulnerable vocals build further on this thoughtful mood.
During the album’s latter half, we get plenty of story-telling and scene-setting in the form of tracks like Venom Apple, along with some powerfully immersive pop-rock soundscapes like the softly whispered yet intriguing and poignant Everything Feels Like A Dream – a track with a great potential for remix and re-workings.
A further touch of Elliott Smith hits for the short lines and higher-toned delicacy of a contemplative Miracles – hypnotic riffs work their magic once again. Then we get a deeply personal, intimate Because We Can, loaded with hope and gratitude, a desire to live in the moment – whilst reflecting on the future.
Daydream Trippers adds some welcomed vocal dynamic at the penultimate moment, delivering one of the most engaging, evolving soundscapes and songs of the project. Another easy highlight, beautifully crafted. Then Every Night Of Silence brings back longing, nostalgia, and sees things to a softly expressive, considerate finish.
Fascinating songwriting throughout, the sort that connects on a deeper level with each revisit. A timeless collection, all in all, with thoughtful lyrics, unique vocals, and an organic soft-rock set-up that’s musically impressive and entrancing all at once.