The Viewers – Universal Sky
|The Viewers - Universal Sky|
Release Date: Out Now
There’s an elephant in the room of this album and it looks like it might be from the Liverpool area. You see, Cornish retro-rockers The Viewers have a rich vein of Beatle-mania running through this album but they have two key ingredients that make that vein so rich; authenticity and originality. ‘Night Train’ opens the album with that familiar Beatles jangle and the scratchy vocals of ‘Hard Day’s Night’ era Fab Four but the genius here is that this tune could easily sit in this original era which is no mean feat. The tambourine fuelled rock of ‘Over And Out’ is a bit more Mod and, again, the authenticity of the arrangements, song writing and melodies is sublime – it’s only the cleanliness of the production that gives this away as a modern day recording.
If you don’t love the steady drum beat and guitar groove that opens ‘Who’ll Be The One’ then there’s something wrong with your inner ear (your inner groove ear) so just tune in and freak out if you know what’s good for you. On ‘When You Call My Name’ that band go back to that Beatles vibe but equally you can hear this song drifting through bands like the Magic Numbers, Teenage Fanclub and the Thrills such are the light melodies and well placed harmonies. Now, it might be the title track and the riff is great but for me ‘Universal Sky’ has the weakest lyrical performance of the album as the Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe can’t mask the lyric of “red or yellow, black or white, world religions don’t apply, we’re all part of a universal sky” – great message but delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
|The Viewers - those shirts, though|
‘We’ve Got Love’ is a McCartney-esque tale of every day working class love in Nowheresville, Middle England and it’s so uplifting it’s hard not to get swept away with it. There’s another great riff on ‘Solid Gold Star’ which has a chest beating gang mentality to it that, if there’s any justice, will have a video featuring gangs of Mod’s on scooters touring around the coastal trails of Cornwall. Things get a little wistful on ‘It’s My Time’ as the image of mop-topped scousers bobbing their heads to the rhythm is unavoidable with those rich guitar lines and splashing drums while ‘Butterfly’ slows things right down for a nostalgic small town ballad.
‘Eloisa’ flies close to the lyrical sun too (“you and me sitting in a tree, shaking all the branches ‘til the fruit falls free”) but there’s a cool, dusky vibe that saves this one along with a great sing-a-long chorus that is surely a highlight of a live set. That dirty guitar groove is back on ‘Plastic Bag’ which takes things more towards the Monkees than anything UK centred and you know these guys mean business before you get to the chorus. The album closes out with ‘Bitter’, a track of Weller-esque proportions that chugs in to life with Lennon’s voice screeching out (courtesy of main man Paul Eustice). This is a great album and the first time in ages that I’ve heard a bad with such obvious influences but the ability and, more importantly, the songs to make this genre their own. Put these guys in front of a bunch of Mods and Merseybest enthusiasts and you’ve got yourself one hell of a party.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/pg/theviewersband/
21st October – Harbourside Inn, Charlestown
28th October – The Old Bakery, Truro w/The Small Fakers
10th November – Bunters Bar, Truro
25th November – Celtic Beer Festival @ St. Austell Brewery, St. Austell
29th Decemer – The Ship Inn, Polperro