single review ~ white male actors ~ '31 years'

'31 Years' is out now...

This week Encore NI took a look at a band beginning to capture the attention of audiences across both sides of the Irish sea, Strabanes own "White Male Actors" who have just released their latest single "31 Years". Taylor Johnson had a listen...

As '31 Years' drifts into life, a haunting guitar riff sets a melancholy mood, immediately balanced by a soulful piano melody. The immediacy of the dark ambient, nature of the track sets the lasting tone. The drum beat throughout which leads up to the chorus adopts the same slow-down technique utilized all too often by bands wanting to highlight their musicality, without adding much to the direction of the music. Having said that, as the chorus comes around the song begins to really move forward. At it's best, it has the right balance between blusterous guitars and an atmospheric feel that wouldn't look out of place on a Muse setlist. You can almost hear the non-existent choir joining in to provide big hitting backing vocals. Great aspects for a single.

From then on in the song begins to find it's rhythm. The drum beat begins to compliment the now pulsating guitar work and frontman David McGaughey's vocals grow more assured, you get the sense he really believes in what he's singing. Which brings me to the lyricism. '31 Years' is an open, dedication of adoration and love to American rock act REM after their split in 2011. With lines like "No one wants to see you go, I would just like you to know, No one wants to see you go", the influence is clear.

Although not everyone was devastated by REM's break up, the meaning that can be derived from it remains the same. The songs strengths lie in it's honesty, as it can be interpreted to fit any situation. The loss of a loved one, a failed relationship or indeed the break up of an American band who had been together for (wait for it) 31 years.

As the song runs to it's conclusion, there's a period of acapella vocals, as the chorus is repeated. It provides a break in the music that seems slightly unnecessary, slowing down what could potentially have been a fast paced explosive climax, although it does lead to a fine piece of solo piano which adds a delicate touch to proceedings.

All in all '31 Years' is a strong song, that has been produced very well. It may lack the required punch required to push into the mainstream, but having already been contacted by none other than a certain retired American band with positive feedback, I have a feeling that White Male Actors may not be all that bothered.

~Review by Taylor Johnson.

If You Like; Interpol, R.E.M, Muse ~ You'll like White Male Actors

Find them on Facebook here
Listen to '31 Years' here

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