single review ~ r51 ~ 'absolutely nothing'

Name: R51
Genre: Alt-Rock
For Fans Of: Runaway [GO], Yes Cadets, Arcade Fire
Location: Belfast

A captivating first line can make or break a songs relationship with it's listener. It must be compelling, engaging and, if possible, mean something to them. With ambient dream-weavers R51's latest single they not only tick all of the above boxes, they do so in a manner that illustrates the wave of confidence they are currently riding, and then some. 

"What we got here is absolutely nothing at all"

Downright genius. Not a bad start.

Vocalist Melyssa Shannon is really on form throughout this hazy pop song, never in danger of singing outside her wide range. Shannon's expressive tone acts as the bedrock from which Jonny Woods now trademark guitar sound can flow alongside, an important element to R51's sound that has carried on from their earliest demos. It's a captivating dynamic and one they must always hold on to.

Lyrically, the band seem to explore new ground, the dark energy which threatens throughout the likes of the awesome 'Slowhound' now given a platform all of its own. , "You are nothing, you are nothing til you give them all they want". 

While the patchwork bass opening may act as a sly nod to the likes of Go Wolf, R51's unique sound is never tampered with here. If it is indeed pastiche, it's pastiche done well. The songs crashing crescendo see's them back to basics; Shannon's timeless vocals begin stretching their legs alongside a truly excellent outro of guitar and synth ~ the likes of which Damon Albarn would pounce upon without hesitation.

In all, this is very encouraging work from a band who've always had promise. It's great to see them really deliver.

Taylor Johnson

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