Music Reviews

NEW: Shrink – Tom Lumley & the Brave Liaison

“Shrink” is the brand new track, and the second from the four-piece’s upcoming EP, Sign of the Times due at the end of this month.

Tom Lumley & the Brave Liaison - the cover of the EP

We’re now four months into 2020, and what a year it’s been so far for new music. Amongst the many negatives that exist in our society right now, the new talent coming out of the UK music scene is extremely exciting, and one of those artists who is back with their first release of the year is Cambridgeshire’s Tom Lumley and the Brave Liaison.

Since becoming an official four-piece, Tom Lumley and the Brave Liaison have honed their sound and are doing things very differently when compared to the core guitar sound within the industry right now. With many bands taking inspiration from the Britpop era, or pining after more indie sounding music, Tom and his band have taken inspiration from elsewhere and I for one love it.

Shrink is a track that deserves to be played loud and takes me right back to one of my favourite records I ever owned. NME the Essential Bands featured artists like The Automatic, Boy Kill Boy, Milburn, The Cribs and more, and this track and this band could sit right amongst those incredible 2006 artists and not feel out of place. It’s a sound I wish more people would embrace, with heavy riffs and a really distinct vocal but I’m glad Tom is doing it now; what this band have done is take what was in the mainstream 15 years ago, and make it sound unique and fresh for 2020. Clever work.

As with many of Tom’s tracks though, whilst musically upbeat anthemic, there’s often deep meaning behind the lyrics he writes and much of the new EP surrounds the subject of mental health. Speaking of the meaning behind the new single Lumley commented; “‘Shrink’ is about the schizophrenic back and forth of someone’s personal battle with self-doubt and anxiety. The lyrics denote the person not feeling in control of their own mind as their world seems to them alone as if it’s spiralling out of control. The paranoid thinking of someone whose thoughts are running rampant.”

Shrink is a continuation from where Casual left off and signals a confidence that Tom Lumley and his band have a sound they’re happy with and are going to develop over the next 12 months. For some, this won’t be their cup of tea, it doesn’t fit the mould right now stylistically, but I don’t think that will bother Tom in the slightest. It’s a good track, and with huge holes right now left from The Gaslight Anthem stateside, and this 2005/6 rock sound non-existent in the UK, Tom Lumley and The Brave Liaison have an opportunity to find fans looking for something a bit different.

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