These Streets Never Sleep
The Gap Year Riot!
Glaswegian almost rockers serve up a slice of piano-infused pop in the unimaginatively titled These Streets Never Sleep EP.
Fortunately the music is better than their names would suggest. In the sense that TGYR possess a pianist they can inevitably be compared to Something Corporate/Jack’s Mannequin though these comparisons would be lazy and more importantly wrong. In fact the only thing TGYR have in common with those bands is that the lead singer sounds like Andrew McMahon with a clothes peg on his nose. TGYR find themselves closer to Elliot Minor and other bands who find themselves living on the pop side of the pop-rock dichotomy. I think the TGYR need to accept this fact and move on, ditch the overly ‘passionate, read nasally, vocals and concentrate on trying to hone their songwriting skills based around the song Win Win, the only song on the album that differentiates TGYR from any band either side of the Atlantic.
This EP is not particularly bad, in fact as a whole it’s pretty passable, but it definitely descends in quality as the songs progress. Win Win is the EP’s strongest card, a piano led pop-rocker with an interesting chorus and decent hook. Despite some repetitive and redundant lyrics and the aforementioned vocal weakness, the song actually comes across pretty well, experimenting with a break in the standard song structure and doing it not half bad. 3+3 starts pretty well, mixing the guitar and piano lines in decent fashion in a This Day & Age-ish way, but it lacks the chorus the rest of the song deserves. The last two songs are forgettable though in different ways. Put Down the Knives is a pretty bland faux-rock song which fails on most levels to provide any memorable moments, though the poor lyrics come closest to being remembered .The opening of the song sees itself as a proper rock song so the piano sounds hopelessly out of place, it is an awkward juxtaposition that undermines the whole song. However the worst song on the EP, the album closer Always Am, tries its hardest to be epic but falls some way short, the meandering piano and vocals in the latter half of the song only highlight the weakness of both the singing and the lyrics, something which is best covered in the opening two tracks.
Not terrible, but not great either.