In a recent live review I wrote about Last of the Light Brigade I stated that I thought they were a band that Guernsey should be getting excited about – well, as if to back this up, their new album Floggin’ A Dead Horse continues their trend for making great music that is also accessible to a mainstream audience.
Hot on the heels of their debut album, The Ones You Left Behind (which came out less than a year ago), here we find the band (and in particular songwriter Tyler Edmonds) in much more thoughtful and mature mode.
Starting off with recent single, Left In Ruins, this really shows how the band have developed even in the last year, going from brash punk tinged indie rock to a slower sound, somewhat reminiscent of the ‘big’ songs by bands like post-Richey Manic Street Preachers or Oasis, but still with the Light Brigade’s own features standing out.
From there the album (or with just 7 tracks and a total runtime of only 20 minutes, maybe mini-album) goes in two directions; first is two reworked versions of tracks from The Ones You Left Behind, rearranged with piano parts being added alongside the guitars.
While this works well and displays a new talent from Tyler that, previously, we hadn’t really seen exploited to the full, it seems odd that this release features a pair of ‘old’ songs, though as this is their first release that will be more widely available (via Detour Records imprint Paisley Archive) maybe its only us Guernsey fans who will pick up on this.
The second direction sees the band develop on their edgy mod and punk inspired sounds which have previously been their stock in trade. In particular She’s Alotta Woman and Beyond Loneliness do this excellently with a darker tone coming in alongside their old sound.
These new elements aren’t to say the band have moved completely away from what made their name and Bridge Kitchen in particular is a slice of the more full on, enraged and energised sound that the band have become known for, especially live.
As well as the more developed songwriting Floggin’ A Dead Horse also features a production job that matches any professional record in my collection, giving the whole thing a much more professional sound and goes to show that even a new or part-time band can make something that sounds as good (or better) than any professional band in this day and age, if they are prepared to save up and put in the money and effort.
All in all, Floggin’ A Dead Horse is a sure step forward for Last of the Light Brigade and adds another band, along with CourageHaveCourage and Teaspoonriverneck, that Guernsey, and the world, really should and could get behind.