Great Cynics - Like I Belong (Cover Artwork)

Great Cynics

Great Cynics: Like I BelongLike I Belong (2013)
Bomber Music

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: sarahbochatsarahbochat
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Great Cynics' sophomore full-length Like I Belong is a love letter to being young. This record embraces long, summer nights and the shenanigans that follow, in nearly the same thematic vein as the Smith Street Band's jaunts being written a hemisphere away ?? walking endlessly around cities, sitting in bedrooms, lying awake between the sheets. They capture the suspended state of young adulthood from the get-go - "We're old enough to know better than this / and young enough to know it's not worth it to care." Nonetheless, "Ways Down" and "Kingsland Roaches" call against slipping into the tempting idleness of your twenties.

Musically, no matter how simple the idea, Giles Bidder knows how to write a vicious earworm. "Letting Go," "Back to Hackney" and especially the swinging, lovey-dovey chorus of "One Like You" quickly lodge in the frontal lobe. Whether this is a gift or curse is yet to be decided, but in the very least, this makes Great Cynics memorable without any pretentious shtick. Bassist Iona Cairns takes the lead on "Waster," which acts like a palate cleanser to the inner ear, and her harmonies throughout the record give a welcome, new energy to the songs. Not to leave him out, true to form, Bob Barrett's fills and accents can create the most delightful moments - and are so much fun in those two bars around the 50 second mark of "In My Head."

So, what has changed since 2011's Don't Need Much?

Well, if the addition of Cairns' vocals is enough to qualify as growth and development, then Great Cynics have. If slightly shifting the driving rhythm of Bidder's guitar from "one (rest) and three and four" to "one and two (rest) and four," then they're breaking new ground. From the first decibel, this is unquestionably Great Cynics. Really, that is the most frustrating thing about In Your Head ?? this lack of further experimentation. From the tempos to the themes, this album comes off as middle of the road, which is why the little nuances in "Find the Humour" ?? like the heightened intensity of the vocals, not to mention the unexpected coda in the last 45 seconds or so – are so frustrating.

At the same time, a few self-aware lyrics lead me to believe that it is intentional ?? the self-referential "to talk about nothing at all" and "we're younger than everyone else / and we can barely play." They're sticking to the old adage ?? if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And why shouldn't they? The songs are catchy, straightforward and relatable. I truly believe some big things are in store for these cats, but as a fan that has already heard the tired tunes, I'll be happy enough to watch them blossom from afar instead of the front row.


People who liked this also liked:
The Draft - In a Million PiecesCaves - BettermentAndrew Jackson Jihad - People Who Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the WorldOsker - Idle Will KillLemuria - Get BetterP.O.S. - Never BetterSundowner - Four One Five TwoBright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning / Digital Ash In A Digital UrnDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeSpraynard - Funtitled

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
mitch91 (May 22, 2013)

I very much agree with you re: the lack of development. The band have said that this feels like their debut due to the fuller line-up, so I'll forgive them and hope their 'second' album is more of a departure.

wolfparty (May 22, 2013)

Really good take on this band and record. They don't innovate whatsoever but somehow I still always come back. I think it's just Bidder's charm.

wearestillalive (May 22, 2013)

probably one of my favourites of the year. basically just the first one but longer and better and with a much fuller sound - kind of finishing off what they half-finished on don't need much. i'll give them another record to see if they progress but even if they make this record again i'll be happy. seeing them with onsind in a couple days probably, should be a good time.

thirtyseconds (May 22, 2013)

I've never been into vicious earworms. This could change that.

essenceoftong (May 22, 2013)

try youtube if you want to listen to them

davebrave4 (May 21, 2013)

Well, you could buy the album. Or you could refrain from rating it and just trust the reviewer (who did a great job).

userq (May 21, 2013)

I dont see no song here so how am I supposed to rate it?

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