Tied to the Mast - Let's Levitate!
The rise and rise of self-funded and professionally sounding rock albums continues with the first release from Tied to the Mast, Let's Levitate! This is the band's debut album and is the latest release to come crawling out of Sawmill's Studio (of Muse, Robert Plant, Supergrass, Stone Roses and Razorlight fame).
I usually find reviewing a band's first release a joy because it's more often than not a great introduction to their identity, style and substance. Feeder is a good example of a band that impressed with its debut and built on that, Oasis is another where style and substance on the debut release was so strong that they spent the rest of their existence trying to replicate it. Tied to the Mast will not be having that problem, mainly because each song on this album plays like its been written for a different release. Playing this album from start to finish just doesn't feel right at all, some tracks are incredibly London-centric and performed with thick accents and on other tracks a transformation occurs where American twangs are brought into the mix.
This is a first release however, so lets get onto the songs themselves and give these guys a chance! The music isn't as bad as the mix, each track does have its own charm and after a few plays I really started to enjoy a couple of tracks. Daydreamer has a post Brit-pop feel, a stripped back Blur sound and a charmingly simple guitar track that will have you sitting back in your chair and reaching for the tea cup. Title track Let's Levitate! is dominated by power guitars and is the strongest of the heavier tracks. There are three guitarists in this band not including the bassist and it is in this song that it's most evident. They remain busy throughout and over-worked in the best kind of way, a style that bands like Funeral For A Friend do so well.
Despite my initial misgivings these guys really grew on me. Having a varied style is not a weakness, it just needs to be better mixed and blended than this track listing was. As a first release I'd say thumbs up, well done and give these guys a few minutes of your time. Chances are with this mix you'll find something you like!