Recluse - Anhedonia
Owain Paciuszko 16/08/2010
Listening to the first track of this new EP from Welsh alt-rockers Recluse I'm having to stop thinking about their Celtic roots and try and pretend their an American band from the 90s who are still knocking about, because, surreally, they sound kind of exactly like what Nirvana might sound like if they were still, ahem, operational and had mellowed a bit with age (a la Dave Grohl on In Your Honor's second disc). Opening track Passing Cars is a fine rock and roll number, grinding guitars, tight drumming and half-growled vocals.
We Could Both Use Someone sits on a comfy sofa between Lenny Kravitz and Frank Black, it feels like drivetime on Absolute radio with its refrain of 'We could use a little sun' and falsetto cooing come the tracks finale. Meanwhile Dirty Blonde seems to share the bed with fellow Welshmen Future of the Left swapping Andy Falkous' bark for a dry-sneer akin to Josh Homme, it goes on a slightly proggish journey akin to some tracks from Songs for the Deaf, entertainingly rambling and designed for desert roads. Unfortunately somewhere around the four minute mark it kind of consumes itself and winds up becoming background noise, before transforming into a mellow close that grabs your attention as you momentarily check to see if this the next song. There's a flutter of the previous indie-rock posturing before it, sadly, fades out.
Singer-guitarist Britt brings out his Ben Ottewell voice for Remain, it's a nice little number where the vocal's bring a pleasing alt-country vibe to the relaxed, if derivative, musical surroundings. The EP ends with an acoustic version of Passing Cars which is all well and good, if totally disposable and doesn't really bring anything new to the song.
Recluse are a flashback, they sound like the nineties indie-rock scene and though that's no bad thing, it's a little like watching the support band waiting for Sonic Youth to come on. These three guys have a lot of talent, but there's a weight of influence hanging round their neck like an albatross, sure, they can be content to continue producing these fine, original alt-rock songs with a nostalgic bent, but they could also bring more to the table. This is a nice little record, perfectly listenable, but lacks something to really burrow into the brain.