- Beth Turner
That's Your Lot - Blaenavon
We all know how it has become increasingly difficult to gain the support and financial stability to have the luxury of releasing a debut album. However, fiver years in the making , Blaenavon's first full record , That's Your Lot ,is the product of unparalleled hard-work, perseverance and straightforward musical talent. Full of catchy lyrics and melodic guitar hooks from start to finish, it is everything you could want from an indie-pop album . Just short of an hour long and every second offers something delectable for the senses to enjoy. Lead singer Ben Gregory’s vocals are both haunting and exciting , creating an atmosphere equally well suited to Rock and Roll ensemble I Will Be The World as it is to the slower Swans.
It is often said that an album should take the same journey as a live show , taking the listener up and down in terms of energy, and although the record does play with your emotions with their intricate dynamics, it is not carried out in the traditional sense. Opening with songs such as Orthodox Man and Let’s Pray, whose darker lyrics don’t take away from their catchy, singalong vibe, creating that blend of teenage angst and pop melodies that you might expect from a young band in today's indie climate. It continues with the same level of confidence but leads gradually into a slower, more meditative section featuring the heartfelt, Let Me See What Happens Next . The flow of the album then drags you out of the emotional overload into songs such as I Will Be The World and Prague 99, unleashing a whole new side to the band , packed with full throttle instrumental sections and high-powered crescendo endings.
Just short of eclectic, pinpointing one influence would be impossible; the lyrics are about as Morissey as it gets, and the guitar is certainly inspired by Johnny Marr, but there is also a lean towards the sound of The Maccabees, Foals and even Tears for Fears. All in all, the sound is unmistakably Blaenavon, which is precisely what makes it so good. They have certainly not lost their sound that got them noticed in the first place, but they have grown in maturity, producing an honest and ruminative look at youth and all its trials and tribulations. But it’s not a gloomy album at all; it’s joyous and explosive, inspirational and unique. That’s Your Lot was well worth the wait. Keep your eyes on Blaenavon who clearly have big things coming, as their place on this year’s Reading and Leeds line-up testifies. We just hope we don’t have to wait quite as long for the next album as this one!
Check them out on Spotify and Facebook