Review of Various Cruelties Album by Various Cruelties

Having self-released a couple of singles around 12 months ago Various Cruelties are now preparing the release of this, their self-titled debut, at the end of April. The weeks leading up to launch day will see the band on the road, culminating in a show at the ULU, London, on May 3.

Various Cruelties Various Cruelties Album

Sounding like a rougher version of Paolo Nutini, Liam O'Donnell sweeps into the soulful rock of 'Chemicals', which indicates the band has the knack of simple hooks and arena-sized guitars. Melodic pop emanates from 'Great Unknown' and if swooning balladry is your thing 'Capsize' ticks the box without getting anything near cheesy. The band is equally capable of injecting some frantic energy in the shape of 'Cold As You', but it is a central couple of 'Dry Your Tears' and 'Beautiful Delirium' that really make your ears take notice. The former opens like a cover of Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars' but soon takes a satisfyingly dark turn, resulting in a stunningly emotive performance from O'Donnell. The latter of the tracks features a more mainstream approach, with some fantastic sprawling guitar sounds from Beanie Bhebhe, creating what is simply a huge anthem. They are the mark of a band who could gone on to big things, but even if they don't Various Cruelties have certainly created an extremely likeable record.

Alex Lai

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