Captivating and Truly Precious
Kubb's blend of easy, flowing melodies and fragile, sincere vocals is instantly enchanting from the minute the introspective, lilting tone of 'Remain' rings out. The lightly overdriven guitars and twinkling guitars essentially carry the whole piece along, but it's all about the breathy, stunning vocals.
'I Don't Mind' has a little more of a breezy rock n'roll touch about it with a big, bluesy bass line and the harmonised vocals of the chorus have something of a hazy psychedelic quality to them. 'Somebody Else' rumbles along like a slow building, but deeply powerful blues number than peaks in vocal ecstasy similar to that of- dare I say- Jeff Buckley. Singer Harry Collier's voice could certainly be described as raw and delicate at the same time as it shatters the still of your mind with its powerful tones.
Current single 'Wicked Soul' has a charismatic swagger to it with gospel-esque backing singers adding to the jazzy chorus. Sultry vocals, a rich rhythm section and upbeat, shimmering piano part characterise this classy, bright indie tune.
'If I Can't Have You' has a tight feel with insistent piano chords chugging away and buzzing effects giving it a sharp edge that suits the brief, but catchy verses. There's even a sneaky little guitar solo that slips in amidst the soulful vocals on this one. 'Alcatraz' is a sweet tale full of ethereal vocals and honey melodies, like a clockwork abstract lullaby, all manner of gentle effects rock you into a sense of inner calm.
The minute you hear the introduction to 'Chemical' with tender piano notes breaking through a sea of subtlety menacing low strings, you know this track will be something quiet special. The echoing vocals seem to instantly fill the room with the expansive passion, and the lyrics are aching and touching, "All my time spent with you getting wasted alone", telling the most modern love story. It transforms from a brooding masterpiece into a positive, upbeat melody taking the ruminating tone into a veritable happy ending.
Even 'Bitch' is a lilting affair more meditating on the wicked character than condemning her actions. 'Without You' has a build up of twinkling instruments that are extremely reminiscent of U2 in places, but of course with the far more wispy atmosphere that seems to characterise Kubb.
'Burn Again' ends the album in fine style with powerful reverberating guitars that could precede a wild west shoot out, it's like a lover's stand off with the vocals expelling the despair of a devastated soul. One of the most truly impressive tracks on 'Mother', it will leave shivers running through your body.
Few of the songs are 'instantly catchy' but, once you've heard this album once you're bound to want to hear it again to the point where the songs will be forever imprinted in your memory. Stunning songwriters, distinctive and emotional vocals and intelligent instrumentation make this an album that really gets under your skin, but it's not your usual tender soft-bellied affair because every track has glorious darker side as if it could snap at any moment.