Over the years many artists have released different versions of their recordings offer a different perspective on the music. From Led Zeppelin to Shania Twain, producers and bands have tinkered with songs, adding or removing bits, changing orchestrations, stripping things back, improving on the original or making it unrecognisable, Lonely The Brave is no exception to this; in fact, the band are practically making a habit of offering a Jekyll and Hyde approach to their music. They followed their debut album, The Day's
War with an extended version which included reinvented versions of the songs. As they seem to have set a president for redesigning their music, it would make sense then to do the same with their sophomore release, Things Will Matter. The album had plenty of acclaim on its initial release, even getting to the top slot on the rock chart. For the Redux version, the music is decidedly different: It's more Joy Division than Coldplay, more Morrissey than Snow Patrol. Rather than the driven and energised rock original where we were certain that Things Will Matter, the Redux album leaves us with a chasmic interlude and an opened ended statement rather than a call to action.
The album is certainly more melancholic than its counterpart swapping the drive of guitars and electrified instruments for the slow tempo of piano and string accompaniments with the occasional drop of electronica. Black Mire is perhaps a more fitting title for the stylistic trajectory the album follows this time around. Tank Wave morphs from a dynamic track with strong rock vocals to a measured and darkly misanthropic piece. Rattlesnakes retains its melody, but the undulation of the chorus is lost in the smudged mist of depression. Boxes lacks the electronic warmth of the original and sounds icy in comparison. Jaws of Hell brings in some terrific string arrangements and is perhaps one of the tracks more suited to the morose tone of the album. The growling cello acts as a reference to the Jaws theme tune with a creeping violin that attempts to fight against the murderous darkness below. David Jakes' soft vocals act as a final contrast to the track, offering a final glimmer of hope in the surrounding melancholia. With this reworking Jaws of Hell becomes tenderly atmospheric, wallowing in the musical space while dragging us to the depths of despair.
The band have always chosen to work against the constraints of others, following the lead of luminaries like Pink Floyd and Bjork to stand apart from their peers. The Redux edition becomes more of an atmospheric body of work for the band rather than a statement piece. It swaps the obvious dynamism of the original for the pursuit of musical depression allowing the album to come to a sombre conclusion. It's a personal album, filled with self-doubt, introspection and examining our own purpose and mortality through our human relationships.
It's perhaps not the version of the album you want on at a party, but if you're in a pensive mode it offers some powerful insights.
Groupie Rating 3/5