Thursday, July 14, 2016

Album Review :: Less Win - Trust

Less Win


June 24 2016 (The Big Oil Recording Company)


Words: Richard O’Hagan

It is difficult to know what to make of this, the debut album from Copenhagen threesome Less Win. The Danish band describe themselves as being ‘punk’, but there’s almost nothing on here that fits what is generally understood by that description. The closest they come is ‘Jealousy’, which sounds something a bit like The Damned in that period between ‘New Rose’ and ‘Grimly Fiendish’.

Indeed, if there is any label to be attached to the sound that Less Win produce, you would almost have to say that it is a form of goth. Even there, though, the band seem to fall between two stools. Singer and bass player Patrick Kociszewski has a voice which pleasantly echoes the likes of Ian McCulloch (Echo & the Bunnymen) and Pete Murphy (Bauhaus), but there are times when the band’s deployment of strings and horns jar against it slightly and overally the music itself isn’t dark enough to really do justice to the vocal performance.

Which is not to say that there is anything unpleasant about this record. Of the two tracks released in advance, ‘Bury The Heart’ is the more melodic, evoking memories of the best days of The House of Love. ‘Where You Lay Your Hands’ is rather different, spikier, and almost angry at times. Anger is something that this record could do with a bit more of, though. Kociszewski sings of all kinds of doom and gloom, but there’s very little of the punkish angst which the true purveyors of that form delight in.

At the same time, this is a rare debut where only one or two tracks seem like a bit of a waste of time. It is just a shame that it also lacks a killer number to really make Less Win into winners.

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