LONELY THE BRAVE- For an exit light EP

‘Lonely are the brave’ is a 60’s cowboy flick about Kirk Douglas, who happens to be on the run from the police and then gets hit by a truck and tragically dies. I haven’t seen it actually but, from the sounds of it, it could be about the freedom of escapism- despite what you may be running from and regardless of the consequences (even though any efforts will eventually be rewarded by getting smacked by a truck- oh, the humanity). This theory could particularly extend to Cambridge-based quartet, Lonely the Brave (the freedom bit, not the truck bit), just in case you wondered where this was going. Fighting in the blue pants for the title of post-grunge heavyweights, ‘For an exit light’ evokes a feeling of endless possibility and self-assured passion, running with the sexy man-rock of early Pearl Jam or recent Kings of Leon, and therefore making it a very exciting debut offering indeed. Huge, soaring vocals over epic guitars, complemented by a massive driving rhythmic force, create an uplifting collection of what have the potential to become modern rock anthems, five catchy-as-a-bitch tracks appealing to those who just want a good melody to sing along to and the more thoughtful rock fan alike.

That said, it’s not for everyone. I had a passing debate with a bloke down the pub the other night, who said that they were “tired and old”. Mind you, he did look like a member of Status Quo so could have been talking about himself. And the discussion ended by him giving me a card for a phone-box prostitute so judge for yourself the depth of his opinion. Still, I did appreciate what he meant to some extent. However, although steadfastly stuck in a genre and so arguably not the most original thing you’re likely to hear this year, the powerful familiarity somehow manages to generate a sense of promise and comradery, of a collective daring to hope, the apparent personal vulnerability of the lyrics aiding the connection between band and fan. The impressive intensity of “Backroads” and “The blue the green” stand up alongside more commercially accessible songs, such as the upbeat yearning of “Trick of the light” and “Oceana”, each contrasted by the EP’s culmination in an ambitious crescendo in “Call of horses”, showcasing not just LTB’s solid song-writing, but also the notable production skills of Mat Skidmore at Half Ton Studios, making this a must-own CD on so many levels. I am well aware that whatever I write is going to sound like I’m kissing arse at the end of the day, but I don’t really care. In short, Lonely the Brave are an absolutely incredible talent that should, by rights, have no trouble achieving whatever it was that they have set out to do. Just make sure that they don’t meet the same fate as old Kirk before they get the chance to do so and give them your attention right away.

Anna C