Such is the power of the internet these days; you no longer have to be in the same country as your band mates to write and record songs. 21st century pen-pals Sean Dunlop and Jamie Radford certainly take this to extremes with Dunlop based in Detroit, USA and Radford in Kent here in the UK with the latter writing lyrics and firing them through cyberspace for the former to build the music around.
‘Let’s See What 2Moro Brings’ is their third collection, owing a lot to classic and prog-rock giants like Genesis, Moody Blues and even shades of YES, but without the pomp, although you sense that a Wakeman style keyboard odyssey, complete with cape, is probably not completely out of the question at some point. The bass however owes nearly everything to The Beatles and Paul McCartneys’ Hoffner throb.
Thankfully there are no 20minute concept pieces here, just a collection of progressively introspective tracks, with a recurrent theme of mental fragility and self-doubt.
With an air of Porcupine Tree, ‘Care In The Community’ has a vaguely ethereal vocal and opens with the lines ‘chemicals affect my brain, tell me how to feel, tell me when I’m in love, tell me when to kill’ and the sense of edgy confusion from the lyrics works nicely against the deceptively upbeat melody.
‘Swimming In Glue’ is reminiscent of ‘Green’ era REM, fuzzy angular guitar with the words buried beneath before the ‘now I’m swimming in glue and I can’t move’ chorus breaks free in true Stipe fashion. ‘Rainbows’ chugs along with gentle acoustic guitar and more mental analysis in the form of ‘sunshine is a state of mind’ but overall it all seems a little too sparse to really captivate.
Bringing the album to a close, the title track has a faintly Strokes-esque melody but with a looser feel and more downbeat lyrics and is one of the best tracks on the CD.
These Curious Thoughts are indeed an interesting proposition, the trans-Atlantic back and forth certainly hasn’t prevented the duo from writing some good tunes and it is refreshing to hear something that doesn’t owe its existence to Oasis. Not quite as grandiose as the bands that have shaped it and maybe a little flat in places, but overall this is still a fascinating exercise in song-writing and keeps the prog rock flame flickering.
To find out more about These Curious Thoughts visit their website HERE.