Jamie Lenman has gone for a more focused approach on his second long-player, Devolver. His debut, Muscle Memory, was a sprawling double which mixed thrash metal with country. Here, with the help of Prodigy and Idles producer, Space, he has created an album that explores digital sounds and dance floor rhythms. Lenman took risks making this, purposefully avoiding his usual ways to force himself to be more creative. LP and CD on Big Scary Monster
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For any Reuben fans out there, you'll know Jamie Lenman all too well. The charismatic and quirky looking front man has been conjuring his own music for quite a while, but there is something even more special about this record. Lenman has taken everything brilliant about Reuben but given himself full artistic liberty to play around with and record what ever he wants. The tracks on Devolver could very well be some of his greatest work.
Track one, Hardbeat, is a rather intimate affair where he admits that he is feeling privileged to be so close to your brain and deep in your ear. A great opener for the record. Tracks two and three and also very Reuben-ish, but contain a greater depth than what I think we saw in Reuben records. When I say 'depth' I mean that he's very open to using varying samples, different guitar pedals and electronic sounds. Yet, track four is very different to anything I've heard from Lenman. There are definitely Red Hot Chili Peppers influences in this track, amongst others that I can't quite put my finger on. Again, a cracking track.
As we move through the album there are tracks that are no more than a minute and a half and are the softest tracks you'll hear all day, whilst others are verging on anarchic. Hell In A Fast Car, is one of my favourite tracks on the record and this one must draw influences from Queens of the Stone Age , whilst track 8, another favourite, has been plucked right from the memories of nine year old Lenman who aspired to be like Freddie Mercury of Queen. All of England is a City, is one that I'm going to let you study yourself. . . it's brilliant, but I won't ruin it for you. The final track on the record, Devolver, is almost an early 90's rock band ballad.
In sum, this record gets better the more you listen to it and the further you get into it. It honestly has everything. A truly brilliant musical record. If you allow yourself to become fully submerged in the mind of Jamie Lenman you'll definitely enjoy it as much as I did!
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