SCOTTISH TRIO Chvrches came like a bolt from the blue in late 2013 with their The Bones of What You Believe album, lapping up critical acclaim and racking up fabulous sales in a short period with what can best be described as cold wave, electro-bash.
By the second album I would expect them to have fleshed out raw ideas, while retaining their unique boom and gloom chart-unfriendly sound.
And Every Open Eye does open impressively with its pounding rhythms and female harmonies that pitch perfect with the Goldfrapp-esque sequences.
Admirably the trio – Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty – declined any, presumed, offers to record in LA, Berlin, Bognor Regis, to stay in their native Glesga and record the follow-up. And to self-produce.
Mayberry’s plaintive voice is at the heart of each song, with one deviation where Doherty leads, on High Enough to Carry You Over.
It feels like I’m listening to the new Lorde album in some ways. Of course that is a misnomer as Lorde is yet to release her second, but I would imagine it wouldn’t stray from the debut – one absolute stand-out and an array of middling tracks that don’t detract from Royals. Her second will be carry on as usual, and in a way so are Chvrches. I can’t detect anything that strays from the successful formula of The Bones of What You Believe.
There’s a tried-and-tested formula on virtually every track: an energetic opening, disco 1998 middle, and pretty much repeat the above till songs fades out. The lyrics are perpetually humdrum featuring lines such as “every focussed thought just an illusion” and “here’s to never ending circles.” Indeed.
I know that this will sell tens of thousands, nay hundreds of thousands and make them enough money to pay to have sex with each member of Richard Branson’s family. But. Ach, let’s just end it there. I have a caramel wafer to attend to.