Lively Portsmouth power-trio Cinder have landed radio coverage, and featured on the same bill as The Darkness and The Wildhearts on the festival circuit. Given this upward curve of success, their debut album, Innocuous, has a great deal to live up to if it is to take Cinder to the next stage.
Now just in case you don’t have time to read all the way to the end because the boss is staring over your shoulder, I’ll give away the plot away up front; this record came complete with a glossy biography which just added to the already high expectations I had of the album. But, fortunately, no hype was necessary as I can safely say that this release does justice to the high standard the promotional material implies.
‘Signs of Life’ takes on the responsibility of opening the record with a fat sound made of fuzzy guitars, pulsating bass, and a big warm drum sound. The vocal is the melodic, yet gravelly, kind that inserts hooky bits while rocking along nicely with the music. There are plenty of similarly excellent moments in the nine following tracks too, with several of them shining out using that special unknown combination of music, melody and g’damn rock…
‘Fake’ is one of these shimmering beauties with a blistering intro to it’s anti-industry anthem of anarchy, which cynically uses a very radio friendly sound to broadcast their disillusionment. After the lyrical whipping given to the major music institutions, don’t expect to hear this on Radio One or see the video on MTV (not that they play music videos anymore!)
Another fine example is ‘Caged’, which is an epic sounding track incorporating a driving intro that collapses perfectly into a restrained verse. The use of the SOS Morse code within the rhythm definitely makes this the best choice theme music for a big screen version of Inspector Morse directed by Tim Burton.
My personal favourite is ‘Down’. This track is bound to be an instant hit with an unexpectedly catchy chorus and great contrast in the composition which switches effortlessly from the stuttered verse to the bouncy pre-chorus.
Cinder certainly know how to rock with a collection of strong material. Songs like ‘Serenity’, ‘Hollow Places’, and ‘Day in the Life’ all find a different pace and volume, demonstrating that they aren’t a one trick pony.
Unless this album has exhausted every shred of Cinder’s musical invention (and live sets including brand new track ‘We Like It’ suggest this isn’t the case) then these boys are going to whip up a storm with their accessible sound, tight delivery, and clear enthusiasm.