Since their inception in 2008, Lonely the Brave has been raved about. Black Saucers, taken from their 2014 debut album, The Day’s War, premiered on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show as the ‘Hottest Record in The World’. Their debut album was well received; it went double Platinum. Lonely the Brave has supported Biffy Clyro and played alongside the Deftones and Bruce Springsteen. They also met Michael Jackson, yes, “the”, Michael Jackson; Irish Times journalist (who interviewed Ross Smithwick (guitar/backing vocals).
This album is a stripped down reworking of their 2016 second album, Things Will Matter. This version includes new track Things Will Matter; “a live staple and favourite” for Lonely the Brave fans. Lonely the Brave initially reworked the 2016 album live, “playing a ‘redux’ stripped-down set at All Saints Church”, Kingston, in May 2016. A calm and tranquil church setting replaced the loud gigantic stadium Lonely the Brave are now accustomed to.
The reworking of this album and setting foot into the studio was a challenging and testing experience for the band. Gavin Edgeley (drums) described “find(ing) recording incredibly tough and tend to be quite tentative about it and worry about it up until the day it actually happens. Then you just sort of getting through it and at the end you’re left with a record and you think, ‘How did I get through that? … I struggle sometimes with the recording part of it certainly from an enjoyment factor.’ Despite the bands anxieties with the recording process, the sound quality and diversity of sounds (not reminiscent to their previous recordings and music) and the depths of exploration and experimentation to produce the finished product is commendable. The hard labour paid off.
David Jakes has received much acclaim for his vocals, “which are haunting, rich and gruff all at once”, who always “eschews traditional showmanship”. The Huffington Post has described Jakes as having “a mammoth arena-filling voice”. David has been tipped as “the new Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) with “a wonderful, gravelled quality to his vocal work; words rip from his throat as though the very words are painful to sing and he seems incredibly attuned to the emotions of his audience, he’s a rare talent”. However Jakes vocal arrangements fail to synchronise with the stripped down redux sound this album offers. There is no harmony between the two. The harder Jakes seems to try; the worse it gets. This is most apparent on Black Mire (Redux), What If You Fall In (Redux) and Strange Like I (Redux).
Jakes is longing for loud guitars and more powerful amps fit for the arenas and stadiums.
Whilst some believe Lonely the Brave may have a legitimate claim against Gene Simmons for announcing the “death of rock”, the Cambridge five-piece are most pleasing to fans when they are loud, live and amplified; nonetheless, quiet is not the new loud for Lonely the Brave.