When a band has been around since 2004 but are only just releasing their debut album, which was produced, mixed and recorded by the band themselves, it normally means one of two things. Either it is going to be a last ditch attempt to get somewhere with poor material or a finely crafted album incorporating the skills they have honed in their career to date, this is the latter.
After the light friendly trumpet intro the latest single ‘Recall’ kicks in providing a stark contrast and instantly setting the tone and energy levels for the remainder of the album. Gareth Williams’ distinctive and unique vocal delivery is endearing and compelling from beginning to end, imagine Dave McCabe from The Zutons in an Iggy Pop tribute band. The backing which accompanies him is influenced by The Stooges and The Sonics with some lighter more delicate tones. ‘(I Hate) Saturday Nights’ showcases their ability to write engaging and invigorating punk songs, but there are many strings to The Voltaire’s bow besides uplifting punk.
‘Sad Alone’ is one of those rare songs which despite the depressing nature of the lyrics has an overwhelmingly joyous effect on your mood, and ears. This whole album is consistent in its ability to elevate your mood from track to track. The guitar riffs in ‘Domino Effect’ combined with the elated vocals have the potential to get even the most self-conscious of people jumping round the room without a care in the world. If said man was doing that to ‘Domino Effect’ I dread to think what they would be doing during ‘Eye For An Eye’ as this is, in my opinion, the highlight of the album and a real crowd pleasing sing-a-long.
The Voltaires was released on April 1st through This Is Art Recordings and is available either as a download or one of 350 hand-numbered limited edition compact discs with artwork by Graham Pilling.