Where the Heaven Are We... There should be a question mark on that, for starters
Review: Swim Deep – Where the Heaven Are We
Published on August 8th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
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Last week, we reviewed Swim Deep’s “King City” single with nothing more than the words ‘quite nice’ and the award of three quails out of five. That may strike you as patronising, but we could honestly review their debut album Where the Heaven Are We in similar terms.
The Birmingham youngsters make pleasantly dreamy yet fairly uneventful indie pop that sounds a bit like the ’80s. Why are so many young bands so into recreating that decade, anyway? Maybe it’s at the behest of their producers? It just seems odd, especially as so many of them wouldn’t even have been born then.
In any case, for all that Where the Heaven Are We goes down well, we struggle to find much in it that’s worthy of any genuine hype. They fit easily into a niche, hence the Sony representation, but we’d treat anyone declaring Swim Deep to be anything more than ‘quite nice’ with no little suspicion.
It’s kind of like a child’s drawing: it might be pretty good for a child’s drawing, and the anthropomorphic, shades-clad sun sipping lemonade through a straw might make you go “awww”, but ultimately you could just toss it on the pile of other children’s drawings of much the same. That may come across rather mean-spiritedly but you know it to be true, dammit.
We trust you’ll not deem it excessively harsh of us to point out that most children are not Picasso. By the same token, Swim Deep are not The Stone Roses; they are Stone Roses lite, ultra-lite, super-extra-deluxe-lite. With a free box of candy sticks.
Where the Heaven Are We is a competent record that might conceivably sound great to anyone sufficiently impressionable and unfamiliar with the great music that it’s imitating (and falling well short of), but it sounds like much of a muchness to us.
Usually by this stage of the review we’d have mentioned a few of the tracks and described what they sound like or remind us of. We can think of little to say about Where the Heaven Are We other than how ‘nice’ that sounds, and for all our cynicism this is not necessarily a bad thing.
There’s a pleasing scrape to the bass and toot to the synths on “Colour Your Ways”, the sweet dissonance of which makes it one of the more satisfying tracks here, while “The Sea” has a decent fuzzy swagger to it.
However, the lead lyrical hook of “The Sea” is “Go down to the sea / And tell me what it is that you want to be”, which is like something that Liam Gallagher might have written over breakfast. That’s a shame.
All in all: meh.
Postscript: walked away from writing this humming “The Sea” by Morcheeba. Lovely song, that. Have you ever listened to one song then walked away humming a different song with the same title, dear readers? The human brain’s an amazing thing.
Where the Heaven Are We is out now on Sony Music.
Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!