Album: Guillemots, Red (Polydor)

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The Independent Culture

For this follow-up, Guillemots adopt a more direct approach than on the overly sensitive Through the Windowpane. In place of the lavish orchestrations that bookended their debut, Red starts with the synthetic fanfare that opens "Kriss Kross", a lumbering funk-rock groove imploring one to "dance with your thunder and lightning".

It's the first of several big riffs that sound like an attempt to bring in a more stadium-sized character, notably "Last Kiss" and "Get Over It", respectively reproachful and dismissive responses to emotional turmoil.

But, as if to balance this out, the band strive elsewhere to accentuate their songs' subtleties by adorning them with instrumental colour – the twinkly soukous-style guitar on "Standing on the Last Star", the plucked-string effect that livens up "Clarion", and, most irritatingly, the drum'n'bass patina that gets in the way of "Don't Look Down".

Fyfe Dangerfield sounds worryingly like James Blunt when he's not sounding worryingly like George Michael, but the band's core epic-rock sound is alive and well on "Words" and "Take Me Home".

Watch the video for Guillemots' track 'Get Over It'

Pick of the album: 'Kriss Kross', 'Get Over It', 'Words'

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