In most instances, debut albums can go one of two ways. You either come in contact with the one hit wonders or you get a truly dedicated fantastic first album. The Finest Hour has a solid all-the-way-through album, a case when you could not even imagine skipping to the next song.
The first and second tracks of the record, “Never Heard of Dylan” and “Janey”, seem like a laced together two-song rendition of a continuous charm that enlists you to go on through the rest of it with an optimistic view. The listeners may also vary: most may judge an album by a single, stating that it’s the only good song that the band could write, or you may come across the ever so few, that actually want to hear the album in its entirety. And yes, in this case, you will listen to “These Are the Good Old Days” in its best light. You’ll probably even surprise yourself since the repeat button will more than likely be pushed several times throughout the day.
Not only have they found perfect catchy hooks in the melodies, but – boy, oh boy, – they even add in genres you wouldn’t recognize. “Pocket Change” has a reggae taste to the lyrics and the guitar adds a feel-good challenge to the ska field. Remember ska, ladies and gentlemen? When No Doubt entered the region and exploded? Well, it is slowly coming back. Since that genre has had time to marinate, it may be sweeter than ever. And The Finest Hour are bringing it back with an equal balance with those soft breaks that are their voices. While the boys are from Cleethropes/Grimsby area of Lincolnshire, California still has a touch of possibility in their music but with a topping of Glasvegas, with more reassurance and authenticity.
With track 7 titled “Control” I swear you can hear the start of a second album already. Sometimes you get lucky with that sophomore album making a slight hint of an appearance on the debut just to give you a taste of were these guys could be in the next few years. Give “These Are the Good Old Days” a chance and you may just surprise yourself with a band you need to know about.
Even sweeter is the execution of the production on this album. An old-school class has risen and I’m enjoying the ride. Listen to their music to figure out what I mean; if this band doesn’t make you even a little nostalgic then you were probably born too late; meaning – if I say “VHS tapes” and you have no idea what I’m talking about, then do your research little one, you’ve got some catching up to do.