Great Cynics “I Feel Weird”
Great Cynics were one of our highlights from this year’s brilliant 2000 Trees festival (see our review here https://thesoulofaclown.com/2015/07/21/2000-trees-festival-9th-11th-july-2015-review/) What most impressed us about their live performance was not only the great songs but also that the band genuinely seemed to love playing them. It’s a sad state of affairs that bands are too often so serious they forget the fact that their enthusiasm for their material can be contagious. We were therefore very keen to see if the songs sounded as good on CD.
Thankfully any concerns are immediately put to rest with opening track “Want You Around (chunky)” where even the title suggests a tongue in cheek sense of fun. It’s one of many great indie/pop songs on the album that are driven by a sense of exuberance. Songs like “From The Creators of Love Actually” and “Everyone’s A Little Bit Weird” just zip along and have a bounce and appeal that you can’t help but love. In fact, when on “I Went Swimming” they talk about listening to Billy Bragg when they “feel like shit” you wonder why they don’t just put their own album on.
The album is not, however, just a one trick pony and it does have some diversity in the tracks. “North Street” is a more punky song and contrasts really neatly with the easy going “Complicated”. The band are also assisted by having two great vocalists in the band. The fact that one is male and the other female, also helps. Often they shift the lead, so on “I Know Nothing” the female vocals really dominate on this keyboard driven track. On the majority of songs though, they combine nicely to give a fuller sound that allows the choruses in particular to shine.
When listening to “I Feel Weird” it gets you thinking about when did indie bands become so drab and serious. In some ways, it’s a reminder to the Brit pop days when bands like Ash created great indie rock songs but also had a bit of pop fun thrown in. Indeed, it’s pretty rare to find a UK band capable of delivering this type of sunshine indie rock that we associate more with US bands like Weezer. Great Cynics are a definite ‘find’ and we can only hope many others discover the band. There are loads of great songs on this album which will make you feel a whole lot better even on a miserable day.