Latest release from the Leeds based four piece was recorded by Tom Woodhead of ¡Forward Russia! This is an interesting place to start; Woodhead is a much feted and sought after producer, yet the production here is flat and uninspired, failing to lift the songs beyond the humdrum.
“Oblige” begins with a jangly, minor key guitar refrain. Keyboards fill out the sound, harmonised vocals sweep in and out of the mix. Despite their best efforts, they can’t divert you from a feeling of torpor. The song strains for a crescendo, but it is not attained. Part of the problem is the flatness of the vocals; they are delivered in a perfunctory fashion, but do not have that sense of urgency or immediacy that marks out a great vocal line.
B-side “Captors” better demonstrates their grasp of song dynamics. The song is in constant flux, building, receding before it reconstructs once more. The track lurches forward propulsively, driven by the rhythm section while the angular guitars interweave.
The single and its B-side are less grandiose than their earlier efforts, with guitars heavier and far more prominent. The ambient aural swirls of “Lucky Jack” and “Build Around Me” are replaced with turgid guitar work. The straightforward approach suits them not. “Captors” hints at a level of sophistication and musicality that they are obviously capable of but don’t meet on this release.
In an attempt to meld the sweeping grandeur of Interpol with the downtrodden, hometown melodrama of The National, I Concur wear their influences compulsively on their sleeve. At this moment in their progression there exists a gap between their own perceptions of the music and the actual musical output, but as they themselves intone, “Have patience...”
This article was originally produced for http://www.clickmusic.com/. To read the music review of Oblige by I Concur on the site, please click on the article title.