THE SLOW READERS CLUB – The Joy Of The Return
Growing up, when it is a need, is a path made of choices, projects, developments and where the drawbacks, fears and obstacles are the best possible resources.
And when all this is not individual but the desire of four young/adults in love with their dreams and already able to go beyond them, then we can say they have set the right course!
This is a glorious day for Manchester that also finds The Slow Readers Club with their fourth album: let’s dispel any doubt immediately, this return is splendid.
This is the album that defines, improves, perfects their musical path and the wonderful thing is that each one of their records does it compared to the previous one.
But here we find some turning points, some changes of attitude, of style, aware that for them the past is an infinite reservoir to which the addition of their experience and of incentives makes them grow without failure.
The Joy Of The Return is their Masterpiece: 11 songs where it’s like we find a great director making a movie about this passing of time, about the new fatigues of living, about places that are full of emotions, often with thirsty and angry clouds covering the rubble of our life.
Aaron has chosen a precise direction with his lyrics and this is an audible, perceptible, intense and clamorous fact in his development that draws us into his infinite, magical, well equipped and melancholic cosmo.
His brother Kurtis gives more rhythm and power to his usual magic touch on the six strings, with Jim and David faithful squires, companions of polite and intense sound raids, where the electro dark is less substantial but more subtle, in a combination that sounds perfect.
Sensual arrangements that offer substance to melodic lines always and constantly able to wear the dress of dance, between dark days and celebration days. Songs that were born to be played in open and very large places. They could do it in an exaggerated way, but in spite of everything the merit lies in doing it in a humble way.
A record that establishes how skillful they are at creating a sound and a style that distances them from possible comparisons: with these new songs we can accept that their style has become unique, they got rid of a possible annoying exercise of useless comparisons.
These four Mancunians give us not only the joy of a great comeback, but also the certainty that now they are here and they will never leave our hearts, even if we already had this feeling before. However, at the moment this becomes an assurance. Modern, intense songs, able to range through time, taking us to new places, with a fresh and powerful sound.
So it’s time to remove our fears and doubts: we become slow readers in the ride of a tower that frees us and offers the joy of an amazing return.
All I hear
This song shows that the path that began with the previous Build A Tower continues fluid, effervescent, and they are worthy of being considered for what they are: a band in great shape, which grows over the years.
The tune is able to fascinate, seduce and conquer us with its pressing rhythm, where an amazing bass and keyboards make us dance and dream at the same time and where the precise and imaginative drums give the final coup de grâce.
And then that guitar, which from the beginning wraps us with vehemence and class: imagination, intuition, a perfect job for Aaron’s voice which is a sponge in our heart and lyrics which, in addition to a great depth, reveal their perfect melodic adherence with the music.
A falsetto that takes us back to the city that gave birth to Morrissey is its spearhead: powerful, harmonious, the final lash that paralyzes us, happy about that.
All I hear is a mantra three minutes and twenty-two seconds long: the time needed to avoid resistance (“No you can’t resist the change” they say), to see with delightful approval this new jewel of the Slow Readers Club.
A Dark Pop that with its electronic structure enters our hearts and all we have is a strong urge to listen to it again.
The rhythm increases: Kurtis becomes the prince of the arpeggio, a simple but very useful keyboard supporting the melody. Well made drum breaks and an amazing bass for the first moment of amazement: the new Slow Readers appear in our hearts.
Aaron’s voice urges, drags, in an atmosphere fraught with confessions, open within a picture of life that includes lack of respect. Hard but beautiful lyrics, the music tries to ease everything, succeeding: it’s a long run in the 80’s, an updated and improved New Romantic.
A song that, after each time of listening, overcomes my initial distrust, because in the context of the album it becomes a further element to understand this style offering different connotations.
Jericho is the track that changes the direction of their career: it seems a tune built to make the masses of people dance in a big playground, with sweetness and strength connected together. Up tempo and guitars looking to funky without copying it and then finding in the return a poignant melody.
Sirens’ daughter is a spark of great bitterness, the turning point in sound and style is now totally clear and it leads to a great emotion.
Aaron and the guys manage to offer a rainbow over the tragedies with a dance squeezing our hearts, with a conclusion that sees our tears dance too.
And the Pop twist arrives with Paris, where there is no lack of early Src, but Funk and disco music of Motown style are evident here in a song that has a bitter night sky. Aaron’s falsetto after the chorus is a consolatory, full embrace, and the sky of Paris is witness to a great jewel.
The rock side of Src , a tune presenting spectacular lyrics by Aaron, a wonderful picture of the moment we are living, a melancholic race through time, with images of the past that mix strongly with this technological modernity.
Kurtis on guitar gives us a powerful riff vehemently entering our hearts, with David on drums free to be both creative and powerful and James on bass welding the whole thing with a perfect line.
Aaron’s sad and velvety voice is the element which unites everything in a track that is compact, where technology becomes the modern slave, in a note to his son, so that he knows what is happening…
The killing silence represents well the absurdity of the moment, a silence in the middle of chaos.
The keyboards, as always in the background, are the umpteenth demonstration of the ability of the SRC to be capable of creating compact songs, inducing the audience to a deep and careful listening.
We just have to dance with our eyes closed, hoping that our soul will not be sold and that Kings will stay in their place, while we try to equip ourselves to defeat our enemies, our inner demons, to get rid of what enslave us.
All The Idols
Pure magic, a delicate hand caressing illusions, a watershed of sadness and melancholy, this tune is perhaps the most poignant moment of the album: the scribe would like to surrender but … in this song there is a feeling that many things are hidden in Aaron’s lyrics, Kurtis produces one of his rare guitar solo, short but my God it breaks our hearts, while Jim and David complete this march of pain with great skill.
If these are the new Src let’s keep them close: Pure Art!
And if you want to understand how much the band from Manchester has grown, this track shows all their growth: it’s a crescendo of amazement, guitars that are tender oil on deep wounds, Aaron’s voice is a braking protecting our lives, his words are perfect and the bass and keyboards seem to open our eyes in the Mancunian fog and not only: here the Src speak to us from the centre of the world. Poignant.
We understand well that Cavalcade was an important record for them in this penultimate track of the album.
But then we cannot fail to notice how much the search has grown in not repeating a cliché in the swatructure of the song.
Zero Hour is the obvious certification that they have cleared forever the possibility of being reduced in useless and above all unreasonable comparisons. It is an elegant pop disguised as an essential and elegant dark electro.
The initial postpunk of the last song of this work can be deceiving: besides the awesome initial bass line that leads us to the dark grey Manchester of the late 70’s, here the track shows power, a magic progression started by the guitars of Kurtis who, if he still looks like a The Edge of the period of Boy, is so only for a few moments because later he shows all his ability to introduce us something new and to drag his brother in a tune exploding in our hearts, nothing more intense and fierce to leave a mark in a simply amazing album.