Review by Graham Finney
Manchester band James are the perfect example of how a band can have mainstream success with that one song without that song going on to become a stone around their necks for the rest of their career. The song in question, “Sit Down”, has had arenas, stadiums and indie student nights bouncing along to its infectious melody for two decades now but, judging by the excitement and love shown for the band as they release this new EP, the Manchester outfit are more than just one hit wonders.
“Better Than That” is a four track affair and the first new material from the band since their 2016 album “Girl At The End Of The World”. It also provides a taster for their upcoming new album “Living In Extraordinary Times”, an album which, judging by the teaser offering provided by the band on this EP, will surely hope to top the success of its predecessor. The EP kicks off with the brilliant “Better Than That” a pulsing opener which sees frontman Tim’s distinctive vocals powering through the waves of electro-tinged indie-pop. “Busted” is a more tempered follow-up while “Hank” sees the band crashing out a blast of distorted electro-drenched indie all topped off with more of Tim Booth’s unique vocals. The EP signs off with the emotionally-charged “Broken By The Hurt” a perfect end to this four tracker.
Like a fine wine, James have got better and better as their career has progressed. They’ve shown time and time again they’re far from being just “that band who play Sit Down” and, if this EP is any indication of what we can expect from “Living In Extraordinary Times”, we could have on our hands one of the albums of 2018.
Better Than That Track Listing:
1. Better Than That
4. Broken By Hurt