It’s been nearly 10 years since the last Ordinary Boys material was released. For those of you that remember album Over The Counter Culture that shot them to fame, you’ll know how fresh sounding and energetic is was at the time, and maybe, like me, became a little disappointed that they couldn’t recreate this on future records. Well, Preston and the boys are finally back together, but can they recreate the magic of past glories?
Preston has been busy as a songwriter since he’s been away from the band, and listening to this record shows more of an American punk influence mixed with the heavy sound they’re renowned for. About Tonight focuses on this, with its distinct American twang, but also sees a change in Preston’s vocals; while still solid, they’re not as pronounced as earlier material; maybe he’s trying to step out of the limelight and bring the band back to the forefront again.
Four Letter Word is back to what they do best with a hard-hitting chorus and big guitars driving the song on, whereas Almost Ready takes a different route of quiet abandonment backed up with heavy guitars and an addictive riff-driven chorus. Both show glimpses of a change in the song writing process, probably tailored by Preston’s recent commitment to writing songs for other big artists such as Olly Murs.
Disposable Anthem signs of the record, and perhaps says it all with the lyrics: ‘the better days are here to stay’. The band are in quiet revival here and happy with where they are, which shines through in this track. The slower rhythm and contentment on show here is a fine example of a band happy with themselves and just glad to be back to what they love doing most, after a hefty break.
Preston’s done the youth in revolt, done the solo, done the writing, the lows and the highs, and he’s come full circle, but with a more mature attitude which shows in the music. In areas it can feel a little creaky due to the big hiatus, but with a little oiling and a bit of practice, new material should see the boys back to their best.