The Research - The Old Terminal (This is Fake DIY)
The Research have been plagued with label problems since their first album, accusing former label EMI of not promoting first album Breaking Up effectively. And this proves inspiration for one fairly catchy track, 'Lost Souls In The Vapours'. As singer Russell 'The Disaster' Searle sings:
"You wonder where the money goes/See this guy, he's for sale/Is he stable/Blame it on the record label."
In terms of possible catchy singles, 'Rockin' The Boat With My Friends' sounds like The Las in their heyday. Featuring a very ear-pleasing rhythm-based beat and acute vocals, it's as radio-friendly as you will find on this record. 'I Think I Know What Happens When You Die' brings in bassist and co-singer Georgia Lashbrook for some relaxing harmonizing. Whilst sounding melodramatic, it's also quite understatedly reflective in lyrical composition, keeping true to the formula of laid-back beats and heart-on-the-sleeve vocals.
'I Think She's the One I Love' is a particular stand-out effort, complete with backing harmony, a retro style and truly moving lyrics, though the dramatic recharge of the synthesizer tends to undermine the mood of the words. That said, it doesn't ruin the track as it might have done and still connects as a memorable offering. The bass line and drum beat of 'Treasure Every Measure' could easily be mistaken for The Strokes, ala 'Take It Or Leave It' before taking the expected route. Still, we are treated to some passionate delivery for the first time, as opposed to the chilled style the album's previous four tracks provided, and the variation is definitely a positive step in a decent tune.
The album takes an unexpected interlude on 'All My Love' and although it's a change of direction, it's a very bizarre inclusion to this collection. Meanwhile, the speculative 'Anytime, Babe' is funky and features The Research's trademark catchy choruses and...not as catchy verses.
The album is fairly consistent with the odd aforementioned blip. Fans of chilled-out indie music will certainly be jumping for joy, as this is a thirteen song triumph for the genre, but it's been deposited in an already crowded scene. Still, the result is, all in all, a very listenable album with some decent songs, but nothing to make the musical earth move.