5/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 21 February 2014
Last week I had a load of really great records to review, it was a struggle to resist buying several of them for myself. Not every week is like that, though, and this time round I've managed to bag a few stinkers. Thomas J Speight has done a 7" I hated, there's a Lo-Fang album on 4AD that I don't really want to listen to again but will have to write words about soon, and there's this Champs album, which comes complete with a post-it from our stockroom goblin that simply reads "Dreadful head-noddy stadium pop/rock - avoid".
I'm listening to it now, and as is often the case with things I've been told is terrible, it's actually not as bad as I feared. Which is to say it's only quite bad. It is indeed brooding stadium pop in the same vein as bands like The National, with slow brooding synth-indie arrangements and reverbed vocals giving a sweeping cinematic feel to its vacuous and anonymous churn. It's hard to say it's as objectively bad as Mr Post-It said, but it reminds me of bands like Money, Alt-J and the aforementioned National who are wildly popular outside of our office but leave everyone here cold.
The singer seems to really struggle with the high notes, but they'd already lost me well before I noticed this. I'm not saying I haven't heard worse, but I'd rather not hear this again.
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