Lloyd - Pain Of Life
Owain Paciuszko 15/02/2009
70's wah-wah guitar rattles over a rising piano line and lyrics such as 'I worry about the human race' on this six-track's opener Red Blood Sky, generally it's fun in a less-Eastern-influenced Kula Shaker fashion; it's quite nostalgic and there's an awful bridge with a bit of guitar noodling, but generally it's a fine, if Bono-hearted and over long opener. Lloyd is a musician of considerable talent and shows he can cobble together a pretty decent pop number from the off.
Things go a bit pop-country on Sundown and Lloyd croons a bit too hard, ending up in Billie Ray Cyrus territory when he probably should've aimed for Bruce Springsteen. He wrangles things much more appealingly on the title track, which definitely has a whiff of Streets of Philadelphia (a song that I think gets some unfair stick). Pain of Life has a nice laidback hummed 'chorus' and a soulful sound that offsets its dark lyrics beautifully.
Whilst Not Now is a good track there's a certain familiarity to it that I can't quite place, but it makes me want to seek out the song it reminds me of and listen to that instead; but it has a definite late-60s arms-around-each-other anthemic quality, a tad Joe Strummer.
All in all this EP is a hard one to call, though it's - for the most part - good quality, with decent song-writing, if occasionally a tad long or cheesy; but things are a bit too reminiscent of other artists and bands to really feel like it deserves higher praise. It'a fine EP but if it's a choice between this and the bands that have influenced this then I'm going to be sticking to the latter.