Blueprint For Something Special

John Peel once said that one of his favourite musical memories was driving on a bright, moonlit night when a song came on the radio that summed up the place and feel of the very moment he was in. Such a perfect convergence of time, place and music is rare but when it happens, it has a monumental impact on the memory. Forever is a particular song and place linked in time, for good or bad.

While Peel heard that song by complete coincidence that night, the same can happen with some albums. When there is a serendipitous union of a release encapsulating feelings and emotions on both a personal and wider level you can’t help but take to your heart. They are the sort of albums which always hold a special place; they are the ‘go to’ albums which remind us of places and times and of memories and Above Them’s assured debut is destined to be an essential for any collection.

With lyrics that cut to the quick and music that palpably reflects moods and moments to a tee, they are the songs for people struggling, surviving and triumphing. Obliquely, it is the music of the age we are in.

Opening with recent single ‘For Those Who Paved The Way’, an awesome call to arms and as huge as they come, it sets the bar high and continuously reaches those lofty heights with each successive track.

From the spiked guitars of ‘Give It Up To Start Again’, to the swagger of ‘Improve on Happiness’ with its anthemic outro shout along of “We’ll rise, we’ll fall”, to the gruff tinged ‘This Complex Life’: this is really exceptional stuff.

Every song shimmers with accomplishment and there is not one filler track to be heard, which is quite the rarity with a first album. Above Them have always been an incredibly skilful band, but this seems them at their most fearless, most determined.

Blueprint For A Better Time is the most assured of debuts: music to make memories to; music of struggle and of triumph and the soundtrack to now. A blueprint for how it should be done.