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Album Review

Once Upon A Dead Man – Concepts and Phenomena EP


A safe and comfortable journey.

Label: Self-released
Released: 1st April 2016

Rating: ★★★

You know, when music runs through your veins, there’s little that can get in the way of you creating. And when it runs in the family, that means that while you may have retired your solo work for the moment, be balancing Fightstar and the revival of Busted, it’s the perfect time to start another band with your brothers and a close pal.

If you’re the Simpson family, that is.

So what do you get when you’ve gone through the poppy end of rock to the post-hardcore realms and then mellowed out with some acoustics? Well, there’s always throwing an electronic twist on what you create. Their take on the field often feels like anthemic rock songs replacing guitar strings for synths, soaring across a six track airy affair.

‘The Canopy’ is dreamlike and ‘Rush’ may seem simple and stripped to begin with, but these light layers all start to pile up into one twinkling song. ‘Give Up’ might even double as Chvrches with Lauren Mayberry traded out for one of the Simpson clan. There’s just lots of little layers, repeated lyrical hooks that just get ingrained early on and never really quite leave.

‘Concepts and Phenomena’ glides as a fine blend of indie and electronic. It’s often a safe and comfortable journey, and enjoyable along the way, but those moments that they do decide to kick it up that last notch are what make their EP feel that little bit bigger. Heather McDaid