Edinburgh’s Stanley Odd return with their third studio album, A Thing Brand New, following the success of their debut Reject, which was shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year in 2012.
Opener ‘Get Back In The Basement’ features lots of distortion and effects, easing listeners in before breaking into tremendous chorus with stunning vocals, demonstrating what the band have to offer and leaving you eager for the rest of the album.
‘Who Am I?’ is the first track featuring strong political themes, showing the band’s knowledge about the country’s current state, this theme carries on throughout the album.
‘Pastime’ is one of the album’s highlights with a catchy choral hook, booming bassline and witty lyrics including “I just turned up to a fist-fight with a flamethrower.”
The album offers a mix of social commentary and personal stories demonstrating the band’s skills as musicians and songwriters, each song telling its own story.
The heartfelt and passionate ‘Put Your Roots Down’ demonstrates this storytelling ability, beginning stripped back with only a piano and vocals, that breaks into life when joined by strings and sending shivers down your spine.
Highlight ‘To Be This Good Takes Stages’ gives listeners an overview of the bands experience in the music industry, including their formation and first gigs referring to their story so far as “a Penguin Classic in the making”.
Whereas the thought-provoking ‘Draw Yir Own Conclusion’ tells the story of what growing up in Scotland can be like for some families, the track is more sombre than the rest of the album and extremely powerful.
The album showcases Stanley Odd’s diverse musical range, watching them play with effects and genres to make each track standout from the one before.
This unique range is shown in ‘Knock Knock’, which comes crashing in and is the angriest track on the album while ‘The Walking Dead’ offers a more upbeat and catchy sound.
The album finishes with recent single and viral success ‘Son I Voted Yes’, an insightful track which, for many became the unofficial anthem of the Scottish Referendum.
Written as a message to MC Solareye’s son with thought-provoking lyrics like “you can’t change the world taking no risk at all”.
Stanley Odd have a way of saying what everyone is thinking, but don’t have the guts to say.
Words: Jess Lavin