Released in November of this year, Look How Fast a Heart Can Break is the 3rd release from Detroit natives The Singles and offers up an energetic dose of distorted, sun-drenched rock. Comprised of solely two members, this group are capable in producing a full bodied sound becoming a sunset scene in the haziness of some Californian beach – the second track, You’ve Runned Away, is a lackadaisical garage rock number to which you could quite easily see yourself gunning it down some coastal road.
There are elements of an edgier sound to this group too, with (She’s Got) a Heart of Stone demonstrating their odder sound – for me, a track which sounds like it’s been heavily influenced by The Pixies with its off-kilter riffs and comfortably jarring sound. Certainly a group that have made themselves somewhat distinguishable in one of the most saturated of genres, The Singles’ third release is a record that is at the same time kind of familiar. At times, some of the songs sound like something you’ve heard before, one of those where you’ve forgotten the words but can hum out the tune more or less the same. Nevertheless they have compiled an album of songs that will get you foot-tapping and bobbing along.
Described by their label as a group that “combines elements of garage rock, power pop, glam, blues and punk” I would say a more accurate description of this group’s style is that distinctive American rock sound that is so unique and yet so widely practised. Perhaps this group would benefit in somebody concentrating their sound, but to be honest that isn’t always the answer – a few of their songs (see I Can’t Believe What I Got Myself into This Time) serve as reminders to American rock, not as we may know it now in its currently crippled state, but instead to that of a bygone time. The days of strutting guitars and driven, borderline shouting vocals, combining in relatively simple but damn fucking effective chord progressions to produce something that sounds like it would be better appreciated in the days of Tom Petty.
A more sombre side is seen in the likes of I Only Wished You Loved Me More and Our Last Goodbye, before moving back into the throws of crashing drum choruses with She’s Not Interested. Whilst my overall impression of this album is generally positive, there’s a part of me that has put this band in the same category as many others – generally speaking they’re good, but there’s not enough there to differentiate themselves from every other band that’s trying to do what they are. Added to that, the album is 12 tracks long and while you get through it pretty quickly (each song is either 2 or 3 mins long at most) there is a feeling that you’ve just sat through 40-odd minutes of the same sound, re-hashed a few different times.
Where there is some interest is in the likes of tracks such as All The Things I Ever Wanted and the title track of the album, because on these tracks I got the feeling that the group were trying something a little different; it’s hard to describe, but in those two tracks there’s just a flair of difference which, for me at least, set them apart.
A real shame is that one of the most interesting tracks is at the very end of this album and happens to be one of the shortest, Don’t Ever Wanna Fall In Love Again being its name.
To summarise this review, this album will probably be well received by fans of the generic rock sound but some will likely see this as another release by a group who have put their hand up, mildly, in a genre that requires self-starters and sounds that catch your attention.