The Snuts – WL
Even before lockdown, West Lothian four-piece The Snuts had been sitting on a debut album’s worth of songs since they formed at school in 2015. It is fitting, though, that their debut, WL, should be released just before lockdown starts to ease as, overall, it is a perfect metaphor for the hope of a sunny return to life-affirming, music-loving living.
Signing to major label Parlophone suggests big things for the group. Indeed, their 2021 tour has already sold out many dates, and producer Tony Hoffer has burnished their songs with a commercial sheen to help tap into the mass, mainstream appeal. Fortunately, the production is not too glossy as to raise skeptical glances and turned-up noses from rock aficionados.
Having said that, opening ballad Top Deck has the sound of a band who have sold out to the Radio 1 rock crowd before even getting to the first chorus. It comes across as a schmaltzy acoustic ballad that belies the band’s indie-rock influences and Dylan-esque aesthetic of frontman Jack Cochrane.
Thankfully, the fuzzy riff and stomping drums of Always puts paid to any worries and re-starts the album in the way it should have begun. From here, the band tap into the indie-rock giants they listened to in their youth. All Your Friends has the feel of the fast-paced, R&B-influenced-indie tracks of the Arctic Monkeys’ sophomore release. Closer Sing for Your Supper draws on the slow, anthemic sounds of modern-era Kings of Leon to end the record on the greatest high (in stark contrast with the incongruous opener).
When not drawing on these indie staples, the overriding sound of The Snuts is sun-soaked, hook-laden, guitar-pop gold. Recent single Somebody Loves You could well be the sound of the summer festival season. Love-laden No Place I’d Rather Go is the anthemic ballad every car should play at full volume, and Maybe California beautifully combines lush background harmonies with breezy acoustic guitars and a cool scuzzy riff.
Overall, WL bursts with post-lockdown vivacity, ready for a summer of glowing sunshine, reuniting with friends and revelling in the live sounds of The Snuts.
WL is released on 2nd April 2021. For further information or to order the album visit The Snuts’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Somebody Loves You here: