The forthcoming début album by Essex quartet Looking Glass Diaries sets out the band’s wares across seven tracks.
A mellow, near-classical piano and guitar instrumental track with glissandos and smoothly-crashed cymbals is the literal ‘Prologue’. The rock sound kickstarts as second track ‘S.O.S.’ gets under way, with tight instrumentation and sweet close-harmony vocals establishing themselves quickly. The captivating middle coda, wit is added to the formula. A long fade out after the song’s final key change is frustratingly enticing.
More components are added to enhance the LGD formula as the album progresses. The middle coda of ‘S.O.S.’ brings a pleasing mix of instrument-led breaks and a shift in vocal technique; echoed responses and Mark Hansell’s striking ability to hit the high notes come to the fore in ‘June’.
The band prove their versatility in bridging the gap between rock and indie-pop. ‘Teaching Intimacy To Scientists’ and ‘Forgotten Memories’ (already available on their first EP) are driven by rhythmic-led backing providing a foil for Hansell’s voice, while ‘Settle For More’ takes an acoustic tack which still sits comfortably alongside the pacier tracks sandwiched around it.
Closing track ‘Beyond The Lies’ is a seven-and-a-half minute track of epic proportions, where Hansell’s vocal dexterity channels Ian Curtis in the verses and the melody switches easily from the too-brief chugging guitar riffs at the five-minute point to the tender piano and crashing waves which act as the song’s curtain call.
As a introductory piece, ‘Chapter One: Life Thereafter’ provides a canvas for the band’s diverse sounds, demonstrating they can fuse disparate styles with fine precision. If composing future chapters to the Looking Glass Diaries keep to this tone, the foursome have the potential to reach higher heights.
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