The Sherlocks – World I Understand
If there is one genre that parallels the era of binaries that has crept over from the last decade into this, it is the British indie-rock genre. Whereas the commercial rock artists of the 00s seemed aesthetically homogenous, fans had a variety of sounds coming from the traditional guitar, bass and drums setup. Currently, though, the two opposing sounds in rock seem to be commercial indie-rock and post-punk-influenced indie with the latter garnering more critical respect and the former generating grassroots fan approval.
Despite having undergone a line-up change and working with Manic Street Preachers’s regular producer Dave Eringa for their third album World I Understand, The Sherlocks still remain in that commercial camp. The album provides sufficient material to satisfy their fans, but casual listeners will find the glaring issue with this album is that the formula and construction for each song is blindingly predictable. It grounds listeners in remembering that, while chord progressions and riffs of the catchiest songs seem so simple, pop songs of any genre are devilishly hard to craft. Indeed, principal songwriter Kiaran Crooks only creates two particular songs that stand out amongst a sea of derivative offerings that border on cliché.
Ignoring the instrumental opener, opening song and first single Falling has a delightfully darker guitar sound than previous Sherlocks tracks and borrows the infamous one-note piano riff from The Stooges I Wanna Be Your Dog, which tantalisingly whets the appetite for the remainder of the album. The only time the ears are pricked again is the serene Games You Play, which morphs from a solo acoustic number into a sweet calypso-influenced piece of acoustic-pop loveliness.
Aside from that, though, the tracks are a blur of uninspiring echo-treated riffs (On the Run and Last to Leave) with occasional contrived forays into synth sounds (City Lights and Sorry) derivatively imitating The Killers and Kings of Leon. Bearing in mind neither of those revered, stadium-filling acts have achieved a Top Ten single since the late 00s, it seems senseless to mimic a sound that struggled to generate a wide listenership.
Perhaps, though, The Sherlocks are content with the formula knowing it will please their devoted fanbase. Regardless, it is difficult to align this album’s staid approach with the spirited ambition they demonstrated when they first came onto the scene. Overall, one is left wondering whether this is the best they can muster. Surely not?
World I Understand is released on 21st January 2022. For further information or to order the album visit The Sherlocks’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Sorry here: