Joe Symes and the Loving Kind - Album Review

Occasionally a band comes along with so much drive and ambition that it becomes inevitable, word starts to spread. In the case of Liverpool five-piece Joe Symes and the Loving Kind, they are that band. An upcoming rock masterpiece, drawing influence from The Byrds to Pink Floyd and even Noel Gallagher, an aspect which often shines through in Symes' pleached vocal, the promising bunch of rockers have recently released their self-titled debut album. However, individual tracks do not stand out on this first offering, although there are some gems packed away in this bare-bones collection.
Thoughtfully crafted, the album hangs heavy due to the lack of variety, which sometimes borders on a lack of originality. The problem the band face is that although talented, the central issue here is that everything is too focused on frontman Joe Symes and as listeners it feels as if we've heard some of these tracks elsewhere, mainly from fellow Northern bands with a similar style. It must be noted, their attempts to put a stamp on their sound are admirable, but it just isn't distinctive enough.
Bookended by Fallen Down with its circling riffs and Where do I Belong? an ambitious number operating with a bite, there are many positives to this initial record from the band. With a mid section that slows too much for our likening, Lovers Under Cover is a sweet, tender tune that evokes dreamy and delicate textures. Whilst, Happy When it Hurts and Ready to Ride boast an air of artistic gloom, the latter accessorising with a delightful piano accompaniment, allowing it to stand out for all of the right reasons.
At times the group dynamic is near faultless, A World Out Your Window being one of those stripped-back numbers allowing Symes' Liverpudlian lilt to take centre stage, whilst guitarist Paul Hetherington impresses with gentle, pulsating strums and drummer Colin White patters away in the background. Although, the record longs to be more than it is, it is tracks like these and Fine Line which show that success is not out of reach for a band with such a supportive following in their hometown of Liverpool. Their current sound is promising, but often too familiar. Perhaps a bit of experimentation would do them good on their next effort, overall a heartening record that could do with a lick of paint, yet still enjoyable.

WATCH the trailer for their debut album here


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