Album review

Budapest : Too Blind To Hear
Easy St

Budapest : Too Blind To HearEvery once in a while I hear an advance CD that really gets me excited. It was like this with Coldplay's Blue Room EP ("I hope Parlophone realise what they've got here . . .") and the first Turin Brakes release. The arrival of Budapest's debut single Is This The Best It Gets soon had me thinking that maybe there was another band to add to the list.
    With no album released at that point, I dragged my carcass over to Manchester's Night & Day to see Budapest live. Despite numerous sound problems, including a complete lack of keyboards, the band gamely soldiered through a short set which showcased a lot of the tracks on this CD. More about the gig later . . .

The aforementioned Is This The Best It Gets starts Too Blind To Hear off, and it truly is a great single. John Garrison's vocals are delicate but confident, never resorting to the studied histrionics of Starsailor. A lazy comparison would be Coldplay's Chris Martin, but in truth ex-My Life Story bloke Jake Shillingford would be closer to the mark; only in places, but if you've ever listened to My Life Story's criminally ignored Joined Up Talking CD you'll know what I mean when you hear Budapest.
    Wake Up Call tries to disguise itself as a mid-tempo Oasis-y number before breaking into a beautifully melancholy chorus of "So what have you done today, that you've never done before. And if it's alright, I won't stay here tonight. And if you don't mind, I'll take things as I find. So if it's okay, I won't be staying here again today."
    Life Gets In The Way is one of the songs that made a big impression live. It builds from initially sparse instrumentation to a more bombastic close. This is the kind of song that Deus and Muse do so well, and is one of the highlights of Too Blind To Hear.

Looking back at this review, I've dropped the names of a number of bands whose work I really rate. This probably says more about Budapest than my comments about their actual music.
    The really worrying thing is that at their Manchester show Budapest played a new song which they had just written - similar in style to Life Gets In The Way - which wipes the floor with the majority of tracks here. Don't get me wrong, Too Blind To Hear is a very good CD, but I'm pretty sure that one day Budapest will give us a great one.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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