Cambridge heroes Lonely The Brave have returned with a new album set to delight your eardrums and make you feel things. It comes in the form of a revisit to the tracks on their previous album, Things Will Matter. This redux album sees the band tackle their previous songs in a completely new way, alongside the release of a song they’d kept back from the original release of the previous album, the title track itself.
‘Things Will Matter’ is a calm, peaceful song, with sleepy sounding guitar and lyrics that feel very close to home, replacing the initial records ‘Wait In The Car’ as it’s intro track, though keeping its paced approach whilst sounding like more familiar territory for what sound could normally be expected from the band. Contrasting to this is the new redux version of ‘Black Mire’, that fills all the empty spaces with dark synth tones and beats reminiscent of Linkin Park's experimentally electronic ‘A Thousand Suns’ record.
This approach continues on third track ‘What If You Fall In’, creating a brooding atmosphere that wouldn’t be out of place in a retro sci-fi film or video game (think 65daysofstatic’s work on the notorious No Mans Sky soundtrack). Contrasting to this however comes the new rendition of ‘Rattlesnakes’, a piano lead piece poised to strike a chord right on your heartstrings. One of the key things to note with this album is that the songs generally take a slower pace than their original recordings, allowing for more time to soak up the rich compositions and lyrical content within them.
‘Diamond Days’ takes a more stripped back approach, a gentle acoustic piece, taking the powerful vocal style away from the song in favour of something softer and more vulnerable. This allows for the song to take on whole new meanings for its listeners, David Jake’s lyrics acting as an avatar for what many fans of the band may be feeling inside. It’s no secret that Lonely The Brave put emotional discharge at the forefront of their music, and this approach of having multiple versions of a singular song allows for multiple meanings to be taken from them, even from the viewpoint of just one individual.
‘Dust & Bones’ is notable on this record for managing to utilise all the aspects of the bands usual base sound, yet employing them in a different way. There’s still guitar, drums, bass, everything you get with the standard package here, but there is a much stronger emphasis here on the lyrics leading up to the chorus, allowing the words to reach further in. This song would normally be keeping the energy levels up high in the live set, yet here it’s given more room to just sink in, accompanied by strings towards the second half of the song to give it that extra emotional push. ‘Radar’ is the same, making use the bands usual sound but stripping away the punchy, rocky guitar blasting in favour of gentle tones that surround the listener in melancholy vibrations.
This album radiates sheer atmospheric euphoria, ‘Strange Like I’ sounding less like a joyful ode to finding similarities between two people and more like a desperate appeal pleaded from a darker place or time. The shift in tone for all the tracks here leaves a resonating impression, allowing the songs to be interpreted and played according to different moods and situations respectively. Lonely The Brave have certainly accomplished what they set out to do, challenging the notion that any one song should be glued to a singular definitive version, and they’ve pulled it off with superb aplomb and dexterity.