Calling their fourth record Posi is an interesting statement about Great Cynic’s vibe across the 11-song, half-hour record. From lyrics about being the clouds and listening to the birds to others that proclaim “what makes you special,” this is posi-punk, music that’s uplifting in an overtly cynical music scene. Hell, see the band’s name for reference.
It’s not to say it’s all sunshine and lollipops though. Opener “I Want To Go Home” is certainly a downer lyrically and “Shabba Shabba” is about as cynical as it gets, to contrast my introduction. Regardless, the music itself generally carries an uplifting vibe to it, even when the words go another direction about life in modern day London.
It’s on further display with the ba-ba-ba poppiness of “Blue Roll and Duct Tape” and the beautiful melodies throughout, which is really where the band set themselves apart from their peers. The tunes are all driving and there’s a slightly minimal feel to the instrumentation, which lets the open space add a vulnerability between the chords.
Great Cynics play structured power pop but, instead of harmonies, it’s up to singer Giles Bidder to let those memorable moments soar, which they do in standouts like the opener, “Easily Done,” and “Butterfly Net.”
Those melodies draw attention to Bidder’s delivery and the free flow of words, which are mostly in a first person point of view and often talking about an elusive “you.” There’s a strong sense of place and the songs are really little stories that explore Bidder’s headspace. I’m hesitant to say it, but there are some emo tendencies to that point of view in that it focuses on that narrator’s search longing for understanding, generally from an internal or one-sided POV.
Straddling that line of power pop, pop punk, emo and some indie tendencies, it’s simpler to just say that whatever Great Cynics is doing, it works. It’s enjoyably concise, yet explorative, music that’s both filled with hooks and is successful and making the listener dig a little deeper and think about the songs. There are moments where they could easily turn their songs into a straight pop direction (it’s not hard to imagine “Butterfly Net” re-imagined as a New Wave jam) but instead they stick to the fundamentals, letting the guitar/drum/bass do the talking, which is fully reinforced by the 0:49 “Things We Don’t Need” punky number that closes things out.
Compared to their back catalogue, what jumps out about Posi is the consistency across all eleven songs and fleshing out the depth a little more with each release.
Posted Sept. 3, 2015, 9:32 p.m.
UK label specialist Subject Records is pressing a self-titled 12" for the debut EP from Shit Present, featuring Iona Cairns (Great Cynics). The band previously released the EP digitally. The ...
Posted April 30, 2015, 9:16 a.m.
Great cycnics are streaming "I Want You Around (Chunky)" from their soon to come new album I Feel Weird. The record from the UK punks will release on May 18 ...
Posted Feb. 20, 2015, 1:01 p.m.
UK punks Great Cynics will release a new album, I Feel Weird, on April 13 in the US via Lame-O Records, with pre-orders now available.
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.