Review: The Lounge Society – Tired Of Liberty

The Lounge Society Tired Of Liberty

Ambition abounds on The Lounge Society’s debut album.

‘Musicians aren’t supposed to be limited to the Spotify-era choosing of genres. It’s pointlessly restrictive. We’re a band and that shouldn’t be narrowed down.’

Amen to the words of The Lounge Society (taken from their recent interview with Live4ever), a statement that tells you all need to know about the quartet.

The young men are happy to define themselves as a guitar band (which would be churlish to deny) but other than that indulgence, they refuse to be pigeon-holed. Not an unfamiliar approach, it has to be said, but with Tired Of Liberty they’re finally in a position to walk – and therefore match – the talk.

And, through no fault of their own, there’s been a lot of talking (at least for those who haven’t caught their incendiary live shows). Debut single Generation Game is now two years old and one senses that, having been sat on the album for a further nine months (recording took place over two weeks in November 2021), they’ve already moved on.

This isn’t baseless speculation, but an opinion formed on the contents of Tired Of Liberty; the songs trip over themselves to press ahead, never content to conform to the traditional formula of verse, chorus, verse.

Take opener People Are Scary, which opens with a ragged jangle of wonky but slinky guitar licks before spearing off into an uncontrolled, garage-rock ether, then snaking around and eventually settling to a slowed, spoken word ending (‘I don’t know anybody in this room, nobody knows me,’), all in less time than it will take you to read this sentence.

Or indeed, the descending verses and electric-shock choruses of Last Breath, or the swirling hurricane of the stinging Remains (as the band confirmed, a joy to play live).

There is a restlessness about the album, best demonstrated by current single No Driver. A juddering, light-touch, electronic countdown heralds the first verse and, in turn, a dramatic scratchy bridge, held together by cereal-bag rustling drums.

Yet all the techniques can’t hide the undercurrent of doom and a wailing vocal from Cameron Davey (‘The black dog knows you’) which works well when followed by the contrasting and purposeful fuzz of Beneath The Screen, more The Style Council than The Jam, or the waltzing polka of North Is Your Heart, with added female backing vocals for texture.

Meanwhile, Boredom Is A Drug (‘Has it hit yet?’) has the itchy swagger of Franz Ferdinand, as does It’s Just A Ride, but merges it with a dash of blaxploitation and a Motown beat.

In a break from the intensity, Upheaval is reminiscent of an early Oasis B-side (the acoustic ones) with a dusky, brushed feel, although the group can’t help themselves by upping the tempo mid-way, a trait throughout the album.

It’s the last chance to draw breath before a re-recorded Generation Game, still their magnum opus (at least, in their own words, for now).

Although originally about the situation in China, it takes the US to task generally (‘It’s all slightly reminiscent of the 30s’) and, sadly, hasn’t evolved lyrically because things haven’t really improved. Yet it’s a bigger, brasher version of the 2020 single which could only be the culmination of the album.

Indeed, where the ideas are boundless, there’s consistency in the lyrical content. For example, the opening line of the album (‘When will I feel comfortable around other people’) will likely go down as one of the most incisive of the year.

While not being exclusive to young people, it’s an insight that blights many of their generation, sacrificed as they have been at the altar of capitalism, climate inaction, discrimination of all kinds…the list, as you know, goes on, to say nothing of the general anxiety that young adults all feel (‘stay young and watch our futures growing old’).

Keenly aware of their circumstances, Tired Of Liberty thematically covers the universal aspirations of moving for a better life while being tied to your circumstances in one way or another.

It’s an album which requires patience, brimming with ideas as it is. At various points the four members lose themselves in the music, almost unaware that they’re in a recording studio but able to sound both spontaneous and water tight.

As such, with all the ideas scrabbling for attention, it’s not a perfect album, but points to a very positive future for The Lounge Society.

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