Written by: Gareth Endean
Big, balls-out rock and roll bands are ten-a-penny nowadays, the NWOCR scene has churned out plenty of groups with big riffs and in-your-face attitude, but what if you’re looking for something a bit more contemplative, something more – dare we say it – mature? Then Our Propaganda may just be the band for you.
As the opening, title track glides smoothly into your ears and wraps itself warmly around your brain, you can feel this is not the usual fare from the current rock scene. There is a hint of The Twilight Singers to their laid-back, yet insistent, groove but rather than Greg Dulli’s late night croon, singer Jack Denton’s impassioned vocals contrast beautifully with the relaxed jangle of the guitars. In fact, this is an album of contrasts; tender love songs sit next to angst-filled songs of childhood trauma or mental health struggles; the tracks often deal with weighty subjects, but the music has a glorious lightness of touch; the songs ooze confidence and yet are punctured with raw vulnerability. The fact that they can bring all this together in a cohesive and impeccably paced album is a testament to the band’s abilities. It is rare to hear a debut record as well-balanced and assured as this, there is not an ounce of fat on it.
But more importantly than all this are the songs themselves; even on their most chilled out numbers there are hooks galore, bluesy guitar licks and catchy choruses. And when they do up the ante, such as on the classic rock infused Hideaway or the swaggering and sarcastic Everything’s Fine they do so seamlessly to create songs you’ll want to blast out at maximum volume while simultaneously delving deep into their seductive warmth. These are songs that feel instantly familiar and still startingly fresh, demanding repeated listens.
Fast Food at Midnight is an album to fall in love with, to consume fully and to allow it to consume you too. It sweeps you along, and at less than 40 minutes, leaves you wanting more. Bold and sophisticated while also emotive and enthusiastic, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better debut album released this year.
A CONFIDENT AND COMPELLING DEBUT – 9/10