Another band who found themselves caught up and severely losing out in the collapse of Pledge Music, The Sums persevered with the recording and release of their new album, Better, to bless the year with one of its finest and most irresistible collection of rock/pop songs.
It has been a tough time since their last album for the UK outfit, the death of lead guitarist Lee Watson hitting band mates, fans and indeed music hard but using his memory and enduring inspiration the Liverpool quartet forged ahead with long-time friend in guitarist Richy Northcote joining up with vocalist/guitarist Peter ‘Digsy’ Deary, bassist/vocalist Chris Mullin, and drummer Chris Campbell. As mentioned Better had its own trials and tribulations to face but has just been unveiled to light up ears and spirit with almost mischievous intent.
The album opens up with Kick Da Bucket, a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll with an edge to its voice and virulent groove to its character. With Digsy like a carny barker in the midst of its melodic carnival, hooks and melodies bring an enslaving swing to the song as rhythms dance and prey on a swiftly subservient appetite for its eager stomp. The track is superb but only a sign of things to come as Better unravels its web of enterprise, variety, and adventure.
Here To Stay is next up and immediately shares its own seductive melody to hook just as quick attention. Its gentle but assured swing is pure summer glee but as ever there is that shadow in word and tone which gives it an easily relatable grounding. Not for the last time across the release there is something akin to Hed PE meets Steely Dan to a song, a comparison which may only be heard in our ears but feels the best way to suggest the enthralling feel and presence of the infection escaping the speakers before All Messed Up brings its pop rock canter to bear on greedy ears. Already three songs in, the broad tapestry of sound and flavouring within the album is inescapable, the band providing their most diverse and fascinating release yet but it is still unmistakably The Sums in every aspect. With keys adding to its infectious weave the track joined its predecessor in hitting the spot in quick time.
The calmly thoughtful repose and serenade of Go is melancholic rapture urging people to reconnect with the world and each other, its orchestral breath and intimate touch captivating while I Run A Mile straight after provides a funk nurtured shuffle for body and voice to get eagerly involved in. Brass and keys smoulder across Mullin’s and Campbell’s rhythms, the rousing bass of the former almost sullen between the crisp swings of the latter as Digsy and Northcote spring their equally engaging prowess.
Though even after a wealth of plays, it has proven impossible to pick a favourite track but Give Me Something always figures to the fore in thoughts, the song viral in its rhythmic nagging and dirty rock ‘n’ roll breeding and simply beguiling in its pop catchy and melody rich croon. Nail us down and it would have to be the moment which brought the greatest lust but constantly challenged as shown by its immediate successor, Contraception Is Rife. With a country rock twang, the pop breathing balladry of the track is again full captivation which Nowhere Left But Home soon shares through its own distinct croon.
Better is brought to a close through firstly the glorious Cold One, it’s almost Lowry painted air enough to get the imagination weaving with the tones of Digsy and Mullin alone pleasure bound, and lastly Salt Of The Earth. The final track simply brings a smile to the face, its acoustic sway and vocal glee total captivation from which pure contagion erupts in a devilish chorus.
And that is Better, an album which brings a warm glow to the year’s cold closing weeks and confirmation that The Sums is one of Britain’s finest rock and pop bands which not enough people know about though that could and should all change now.
Better is out now through https://www.thesums.net/better-new-album-out-now/
Pete RingMaster 22/11/2019
Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright