Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pyyramids - Brightest Darkest Day

Album review by

From time to time some of the artists we single out early on actually follow this promise through with a decent album. That's what's happened with US duo Pyyramids, a band consisting of Tim Nordwind of OK Go and Drea Smith of He Say/She Say, so perhaps it's not that surprising given that both have enjoyed success with their respective bands. You also can't rule out the input of production genius Dave Fridmann who helped work on the record. Rather than being wall-to-wall brilliance, 'Brightest Darkest Day', if it was a person, would probably be Wayne Rooney. A good solid player almost all of the time, occasionally lacklustre when he's mind's not really in it, yet then whipping out a moment of genius like that goal against Brazil which is the reason why his stock as one of Europe's finest footballer's remains high.

The self-titled intro is nothing to write home about; 'Everyone Says' is good but sounds almost as if they're on autopilot; 'Time (Interlude)' sounds like it's about to go somewhere but cuts itself off; 'Nothing I Can Say' aims for the grand, emotional farewell but only just manages it thanks to the production. However, 'Smoke & Mirrors' brushes aside the swift-but-ordinary start for some rather good experimental pop music; 'Don't Go' begins reasonably mundanely, but throws in some experimental shapes that lift it; 'Do You Think You're Enough' sees them steering towards alt-rock and we find that it's a genre they can conquer with ease; single 'Paper Doll' still sounds as good as when we said this; 'Invisible Scream' is a top piece of fuzzy rock; 'Time' is a slow-building, piano-led track that shows innovation, and 'That Ain't Right', one of the first tracks we heard from the band, is a nice indie/pop tune.

Most of all, it can be said that 'Brightest Darkest Day' is a definite grower; initially a mild disappointment, it has, over time, revealed its true character and shown its true colours. Yes there are times when it doesn't quite hit the target but it rarely gives us anything to be genuinely disappointed with, and after each relative lull Pyyramids throw in a cracking alt-pop song to slap us round the face and remind us why they're here and what they can do. This is an album that shows inventiveness, it shows accessibility and it shows the willingness to try new things. The production and the attention to detail are excellent. So despite not being perfect, there are no major faults and if you give this album a chance you'll find it's a solid record that's more than capable of smashing in a 30-yard volley to stun the crowd.

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