SCHOLARS – ‘Always Lead, Never Follow’

scholarsSCHOLARS – ‘Always Lead, Never Follow’
Oh wait, another Brit band trying to score at the big time?  Another disc to add to the pile marked ‘routinely dull’?  Not here.  Happily these Hemel hobos take a contemporary mix and throw in razor sharp tunes with the sort of hooks you’d normally only see in a butchers basement.  Raised on energised Post-Hardcore and edgy skater Punk, their tightly honed live sound is perfectly captured on a set that’s as urgent and relevant as anything else out there today.  Lead singer Sam Nicholls manages to deliver a performance that reminds us of Morrissey without the pretension, or Brandon Flowers without the aimless bravado.  Whatever it is, it fronts an urgent and surprisingly astute rhythm section that delivers, every time.  Of the thirteen tracks on offer what emanates is song writing ability.  These boys know how to lay it down with the kids (‘Damaged’), but are equally capable of astounding maturity (‘Scaredy Cat’, ‘Waiting’).  The years rockin’ the live circuit have clearly paid off, as we’re treated to loud and louder outtakes from the road that should see them right in this time and the next.  Fresh, really fresh.  (7)
STEVE FLETCHER

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