When a band says their music is influenced by Bruce Springsteen, it is not something I take lightly. However, leaving my predisposition aside (for their sake), there is one thing that strikes me about the latest release from Lonely the Brave – namely, it is predominantly previously released tracks, just in a new sonic outfit. The aim for this Cambridge band was to strip down the hard-pressing rock of the original album, instead opting for a more intimate setting – from solo guitar in the title track, to the soft, lush synthesisers in ‘Diamond Days’.
Does it work? That depends on where you begin in the album. Therein lies my issue with Things Will Matter: each song stands to offer something, but never something different. Songs like ‘Black Mire’ and ‘Rattlesnakes’ can be considered passionate external and internal outbursts respectively; but as we approach the middle with ‘Tank Wave’ and ‘Diamond Days’, it feels as though I’ve already been there before. To portray raw emotion whilst being formulaic in approach is self-destructive. Clearly, they have missed an important lesson The Boss once said: a significant piece of art is far greater than the sum of its parts.