It is a struggle to work out what to say about the third album release by Mancunians, The Travelling Band. The Big Defreeze is one of those albums that is very difficult to place. Although, the word “nice” definitely comes to mind; the first track and single ‘Passing Ships’ plays as well walking through Glasgow’s West End on a chilly Autumn evening as (I imagine) ‘AM’ does driving around in the Californian Summer. It just fits.
The harmonies that scatter the album and the sing-along choruses on tracks ‘Garbo’ and ‘For all the Fallen’ reinforce the nice vibe, too. Genre-wise, there’s a bit of jumping around. The most preferable tracks are the more electric guitar infused, brit pop-esque tracks including ‘Making Eyes.’ On the whole though, the album leans more towards the folk bracket. The fingerpicking guitar accompaniment to harmonised “oohs” on ‘Pinholes’ really exaggerates this.
Will The Travelling Band finally be thrust into the mainstream with this release? No, most likely not; but the album just feels like it’s written by people who are happy with where they are.