Tear It Open is the forthcoming album from Scotland’s Le Reno Amps – a band that, in its own words, tries “to write songs with all the fat cut off so you can savour their buttery goodness”. Ironic then that a band setting out such noble intentions should produce music that fails to either please or repell.
The opening track gives cause for hope – Outlaws is rhythmical and what it lacks in punch, it makes up for in promise. But the songs that follow flit between genres, failing to stand out in any way.
If only Le Reno Amps had the confidence play on their strengths, they could bring this album back from the brink. If you cut out the incescent pummelling of electric guitars, there is real potential here, which is apparent in the few tracks that dare to bare – Body is mellow and simple, and The Stand Off starts out brilliantly quirky and catchy. But like every other song on this album, it soon descends into the depths of trashy try-hard and bland indie pop.
The low point of Tear It Open is the appropriately named Slow Decay. This album is remeniscent of listening to adolescents desperate to please at Battle of the Bands but without the confidence to find their niche and stick with it. Le Reno Amps have produced an album of mediocre music. Listening to Tear It Open is like eating a cheese sandwich – it’s (mostly) inoffensive, is bound to please those with little imagination, but it is essentially boring and stodgy.
By Mary Liggins