Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Album Review :: Chvrches - Every Open Eye
Every Open Eye
September 25 2015 (Virgin/Glassnote)
Words: Dave Beech
When Lauren Mayberry was half-quoted as saying Chvrches were an emo band in disguise, it's likely she wasn't referring to the kind the diluted boy-girl miserablia that popularised the genre in the '00s. Instead, much like those bands that pioneered the genre, Chvrches lyrics draw from a wealth of personal experiences, some positive, others not. Surprisingly, given the torrents of abuse the band, and Mayberry in particular, are subjected to, 'Every Open Eye' isn't a downbeat record. It isn't even a particularly angry. What it is is a record that deviates little from the band's original blueprint and instead serves to solidify the sound that benefited them so well over the last two years.
In adhering to the “If it aint broke...” cliché, Chvrches are not only are keeping their legions of fans happy, but they're also presenting themselves as a far more confident band than their debut might have suggested. The duality of opening tracks, 'Never Ending Circles' and 'Leave A Trace' throb with the same pulsating energy that both 'Lies' and 'Recover' did on their debut, yet manage to harbour more conviction than any of the seven singles that album spawned. Whilst track six, 'High Enough to Carry You', takes the place of 'Under the Tide'; Mayberry taking a backseat, allowing for Iain Cook and Martin Doherty to take on vocal duties.
Indeed, much like the band themselves, the record's sleeve is a combination of the organic and of the synthesized; the semi-pixilated image of a rose a depiction of Mayberry's vocals and the quite literally synthesized beats which accompany them. And this has always been part of Chvrches' charm: their ability to make a genre that was essentially popularised in the '80s sound refreshingly contemporary, through astute lyrics and sharp electro hooks. It's for this reason that very little has changed between albums, it simply didn't need to. The fact remains that Chvrches are just as exciting and just as relevant as they were two years ago, and they'll continue to stay so for as long as they have the fuel to keep their fires going. And with the amount of bullshit being directed the band, it seems they have a long way to go before it burns out.