Sunday, 6 March 2011

Album review : The Answering Machine - Lifeline

The Answering Machine / Lifeline'Lifeline' is an interesting little album... while bringing together noticeable influences, they blend them to make a sound very much their own. Nice production, scenic guitar sounds, attractive electronic sounds and subtle touches of synth across their second album which with a few plays proves to be quite delightful.

'My Little Navy' is a softly enticing little song that sums up the tone of this album nicely. The dreamy guitar arrangements and splashes of synth build into a crashing instrumental bridge while the guitars often approach shoegaze territory. The singles 'Animal' and title track 'Fireworks' are both brilliant in very similar ways, Indie disco floor fillers, powered by bouncy beats, subtle guitar parts, lively choruses and reminiscent of a much improved version of the sound Two Door Cinema Club attempt to pull off. The intro to 'Animals' recalls the ambient delights of Foals before the chorus arrives with its bright but hazy 80's New Oder-esque melody.

The New Order influences also seeps through into the melody of '3 Minds' which maybe runs a little bit too long for its own good. After the slight whiff of filler detected on 'Romantic And Square', 'Anything Anything' is quite nice, with more sparkling guitar melodies, mid paced beat and beautiful synths which again recall classic 80's indie, but with a dreamy 21st century gloss to it.

Lo fi drum machine and bright guitar chords power 'Hospital Lung' which again has a strong New Order influence and in a complete change of vibe and tone 'Rules' is full of mysterious acoustic qualities during the verses before the chorus bears a hint of Bloc Party's softer moments. Along with the two singles, definitely a stand out track. 'Video 8' sounds a bit slack at first, but with a few listens it grows with its enjoyable rhythm and downbeat lyrics that contrast with its bright gliding tune.

'So Alive' has the prettiest guitar riff and is further lit up by the dance-able rhythms and lyrics recalling a particular summer, coming across as very relaxed and breezy. 'The End' appropriately ends the album, with bassist Gemma Evans providing a refreshing and attractive vocal, full of nice 60's girl group harmonies. 'Lifeline' is a good progression from their debut album and displays a very promising band, who with a bit more development could one day become rather special. It's not an entirely consistent record and it suffers from a lack of diversity, but the best moments are definitely treasures. 7/10

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