Wakefield based The Research haven’t had it easy. ‘Unpleasantness’ with former label EMI cut short what was a promising escalation into widespread acclaim, and the three-piece on their Myspace page largely attribute their relative silence throughout 2007 to ‘politics’. So it was back to square one for the band, who now find themselves in the unenviable position of jostling for space in the wings of the indie stage, alongside a wealth of other, similarly promising, acts.
Contrary to a review in a monthly venue-based magazine, The Old Terminal is not the first offering from the band. 2006’s Breaking Up was the band’s debut, featuring arguably their most memorable single, ‘Lonely Hearts’ – a wonderfully synth tinged dose of melodic kookiness which relied on the breathy vocals of drummer Sarah and bassist Georgia. Not the case on The Old Terminal, where crumbly, lazy vocals are almost entirely dominated by guitarist Russell. But this works just fine for the record, which has evolved from the electro-dalliances of Breaking Up into relaxed, twangy, guitar-driven indie folk.
However, while a couple of notable songs, ‘I Think She’s The One I Love’, ‘My Baby Knows When I’m Sad’ and ‘I Would Like To Be Forgiven’ stand out as particular successes of this new direction, exuding a child-like charm in their use of percussion and wistful vocals, many of the other tracks feel lazy, following the same slugging-along formulaic rhythms. Perhaps this is due to pressure to get a record out into the carnivorous muso consciousness, perhaps it’s due to their shoddy treatment by the industry machine, but you can’t help but feel that The Old Terminal has just fallen short of what could have been a fantastic return for such a promising band.
Words: Rachel England