Isn’t it just incredibly annoying when a band that has a decent following, popular hits under their belt and a kickass live show just vanishes without a trace? After their fourth album, 2010’s Barbara, arguably their best collection of punchy indie songs to date, the band could seemingly do no wrong with original members Keith Murray and Chris Cain joined by ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows wowing their biggest crowds yet at summer festivals. Then, a three year silence. The band return with a short EP entitled Business Casual, can it make up for lost time?
Well for those simply aching for even one of the band’s signature disco-punk thrashers such as The Great Escape, After Hours or Rules Don’t Stop may find themselves quite disappointed. The majority of Business Casual is actually a rather… well… casual affair with emphasis made on a more delicate approach.
Other than the more bombastic Wolfmother-esque opening track Dumb Luck, a strong song to start with, the EP shows the band steering themselves onto a far more atmospheric route. Return The Favour slowly picks up momentum in a manner similar of 80’s glam ballads whilst Good Answer has singer Murray’s sombre vocal mixed with an unfamiliar piano part.
Its clear to say the EP sees the band in uncharted waters as the Murray solo track Courage dampens the mood before the band take on an unexpected and downright odd cover of 80’s Berlin hit Take My Breath Away attacked with country style lap steels and all… yeah… lapsteels. The strangest thing is, its kind of enjoyable. Once its over, the purpose of Business Casual is pretty questionable. Why have the band released this? Is there anything more on the way? Is this the direction they’re taking now.
If the intention of this EP was to respond to the question, ‘what are they doing next?’ its very hard to find an answer here thats for sure. What we have here is a decent 5 songs but nothing to match their previous work and most certainly not enough to please the fans. Hopefully the New York trio will be back soon with a more substantial album, just promise it wont be an 80’s cover album chaps.