Review of My Latest Novel's album Deaths & Entrances released through Bella Union.
My Latest Novel are yet another example that Scotland is the true hotbed of indie-rock. The Twilight Sad, Frightened Rabbit and We Were Promised Jetpacks (all signees to the fantastic Fat-Cat label) have all released strong album of the year claims in the past three years, and further out bands like Errors, Broken Records and We Are The Physics have produced some of the most urgent, unmissable music around.
My Latest Novel create a sound similar to the Fat-Cat three. Their sound is rustic and honest, lyrics shouted half-drunkedly in the face of adversity and heartache. The band may place a larger emphasis on orchestration and their melodies may ring a little clearer than their comparitives but there is the same perfectly imperfect quality that makes their music all the more intimate.
'All In All In All Is All' opens the album in a blast of distorted guitars and multi-part vocals, moving with a velocity and menace which is never quite repeated through the album. Yet this is both a blessing and a curse; whilst the rest of the album does seem to float along a little too lightly at points it is also much less cluttered , and allows more room for the five-piece to soliloquy.
'I Declare A Ceasefire' is a plea for peace in a once-loving relationship, but the band stray far from predictable tear-jerking and oft-used alliterations. Chris Deveney's vocals are gruff but not without emotion as 'ba-da-bahs' are shouted to the beat of military drums, which sound powerful outside of their usual feature on tired post-rock rehashs. The chorus of 'please put down your guns, lower your weapons, I declare a change of heart' circles round many times before being lulled into the distance by sweeping string movements.
The album trails off in the latter half, with songs becoming more and more indistinguishable. They are by no means poor or tired sounding, but compared to the young & innocent sound of their début album ( 2006's 'Wolves' ) there is a lot of ground retrod and many more ideas left unexplored. Yet whilst with 'Deaths & Entrances' My Latest Novel may fall short of reaching the heights of their neighbours they have done themselves no harm in releasing an assured, if unspectacular, follow-up.