single review ~ scott anderson ~ 'is this the end?'

Scott Joseph Anderson is one of this country's good guys. A passionate musician and lover of local music, he has contributed more to the Belfast music scene than many may realise. Be it through his tireless efforts with hard rockers Aquatramp, or his one man pursuit to watch as many local gigs as humanly possibly, The Titanics new bass player very rarely sits still. This may go some way to explain why the release of his debut solo album 'Small Exxxplosions (Part 1)' really comes as no surprise. Here Encore NI takes a look at his latest single release...

'Is This The End?' is Scott Anderson's ode to uncertainty. While it's standard practice that the bass line which runs throughout it's 6 minutes is a weaving, trippy highlight (it's the least we'd expect from a man known for playing a six stringed bass) what does catch us out is the songs beautiful interludes. Sweeping outro's of piano and synth combine over Anderson's sparce and distant vocals, making for a waltzing echo chamber of Glasvegas proportions. This is the song at it's best and adds a new string to Andersons bow, who's more emotive side is understandably reigned in for his other bands.

The entrancing nature of Anderson's melody's unfortunately leaves the content of much of his lyrics unexplored, however a brief read over them and you'll be rewarded with a prose far deeper than anything the multi-instrumentalist has worked on before. Indeed, the entirety of Small Exxxplosions is every inch the solo record, honest, revealing and deeply personal. At times, it's home made aesthetic can make it a difficult listen,  but a rewarding one none the less.

"I remember thinking, I needed you with me, through happiness and's easy to write this all off, as being over, and under the cover of the merciless eyes of the sea"

If Anderson was to enter the studio for a polish of Small Exxxplosions, 'Is This The End?' would surely be dedicated the appropriate treatment as well. It's a track of genuine feeling and hopeless faith.

Praise must also go to Anderson for his dedication to the DIY ethics that has shaped his career so far. (Almost all of the recording for his album was done at home, each music video hand made). It must be mentioned, however, that in order for his work to earn the airplay it richly deserves, at least some part of the mastering process may have to occur professionally. It's simply unfair that a pop-act can enter the studio with a half written melody, and emerge with a certain top 10 single through careful production alone; though this is sadly the world we find ourselves in. Subtle undertones of guitar and a richer piano sound would benefit this track, though the basics have been done well. The thought of a maudlin string section bursting through it's crescendo (think Badly Drawn Boy's 'The Shining') may also elevate it to it's true potential.

Taylor Johnson

For fans of: Badly Drawn Boy, Arcade Fire, Devotchka
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