Great Cynics – Letting Go (2013)

A lot of bands list influences that are more wishful thinking than an accurate description of the noise that they make.  I’ve reviewed bands who reel off the uber cool list – Joy Division, The Velvets, Echo and The Bunnymen (which we all know is code for The Doors but more acceptable) and sound like Oasis.  Bands that have inferred that they are the new Libertines and sound like Oasis; and bands that cite Oasis and sound like, well, a very bad Oasis.  So when you see a band that list Billy Bragg and The Lemonheads as their two influences you tend to stop and think: hang on, can that work?   In the case of Great Cynics, it really does.   Okay, it has more of the acid-pop punk feel of the latter than the folky angst of the former, but if you tune out the actual vocals and tune in that famous barking Barking delivery, you wouldn’t question that anything is out-of-place.

‘Letting Go’ is a wonderful slice of straight down the line raucous guitar melody, almost timeless in it’s simplicity and effectiveness.  It is capable of existing anytime between 1976 and the present day, and geographically anywhere from CBGB’s to the back streets of Ladbroke Grove – why change a formula tried and tested for the last 40 years?  Add to that a hook line that Weezer would be proud of, infectious gang vocals and you have a snotty pop classic.

The video suitably backs up the celebratory and carefree atmosphere of the song; out of control party antics, hanging about in parks, take away coffee, paddling pools, all the stuff of freedom, youth and low-budget touring.  If you are looking for a song that is 2 and a half minutes of total abandonment or nostalgia for a long-lost youth (depending on your age) you’ve come to the right place.

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