This time last year Singing Adams took to the studio again after a long stretch touring the UK throughout the autumn months. As soon as the second album fires up there is an almost constant feeling that the whole release was penned sat around a warm fire during last year’s cold winter. It’s no surprise then that they also chose to release the new album, Move, slap bang in the holiday season. That’s not to say that it’s one of those dreaded Christmas albums – so do keep reading.
On Moves Singing Adams are back with their concise and catchy choruses that made the first album so replayable, abounding with laconic good-naturedness. Thanks to a somewhat more boisterous bit of guitar experimentation they sound like a more ferocious Joy Zipper or Belle and Sebastian and they rarely dabble in more somber sounds with the exception of the track Black Cloud which claims we enjoying the moment as “a black cloud is coming”.
The square-shooting Dead End is the first single lifted off the album and rightly so. It’s a fine example of how a simple sound can work so well without the need for any top heavy production. This idea is followed through with other tracks such as Building A Wall and Good Luck with stark, undisguised music at play, something that the band clearly wanted to drive home. Having said that, although the band keeps things direct and simple and the album only clocks in at slightly over 30 minutes, variety is of the essence with the listener always guessing what kind of sound is around the next corner. The band occasionally tread backwards into alt-country, in a good way, on No Rock Song whilst the use of synthesizers on You Drew A Line and fuzzy electric guitar on Building A Wall show an all new side to the band.
Something that was slightly lacking on the band’s previous effort was Adam’s vocals as he failed to take any risks. This time round he opens the album with bleak and gloomy vocals but by the end he has more than demonstrated the range within his capabilities. Just in case you hadn’t appreciated this, it is perfectly demonstrated on the curtain closer What Happens Now?
If Moves shows anything it is that maturity coupled with the cold UK winter months have their compensations. Their decision to take a stripped-back approach coupled with Steven Adams’ demonstration of a much wider vocal range than we are accustomed to has made for an almost perfect equation. This is all the more convincing thanks to the savvy, thought-provoking lyrics Adams has injected with his usual wit. Fans of The Broken Family Band may feel a bit miffed here but there really isn’t anything to fault the band on musically. If they keep making these same moves then this time next winter could see them back in the studio preparing the perfect 10.