Keep It Together
You can hardly accuse Scotland's The Sunshine Delay of rushing things. They've been playing together since 2001, yet this is only their second album, following up on their 2004 debut Outrageous Expectations. Although they've come up with a consistently melodic collection of songs, they struggle to stamp out a sufficiently individual identity to really impress.
The basic line-up of the band is a four-piece, but the sound is fleshed out for the album by a couple of guest musicians adding keyboards and mandolin. However, the main hallmark instrumentally is Iain Barbour's electric guitar; Barbour being the gifted guitarist who originally featured in fellow Edinburgh band The Wynntown Marshalls.
The first song “Last Generation To Die” is typical. Opening with an energetic guitar riff, it's a tuneful slice of power pop featuring husband and wife Paula and David McKee trading vocals in a manner somewhat reminiscent of The Beautiful South. “Desperate Man” has a touch of the Rolling Stones, “Slow Day For Love” offers a nice change of pace, and “Roll Off The Treble” gives a chance for David McKee to take over lead vocal duties from his wife.
All songs are credited to the whole band, a democratic approach which makes it impossible to identify individual contributions to the songwriting. But it would be fair to say that they are generally stronger melodically than they are lyrically. On the rare occasion that a lyric does catch the ear, it's unfortunately due to its being a bit clunky, as in Like the space between the door and the frame, we're in that empty place again.
Similarly, “King Of The Small Town” towards the end of the album offers the always lucrative prospect of a tale of small-town life, but comes and goes without making a sufficient impression.
Overall, Keep It Together is pleasant listening, but unfortunately may not have quite enough depth to the songwriting to keep you coming back for more.