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Simon York - Nothing's Ever Quite What You Thought It Would Be

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 15 / 12 / 2013

Simon York - Nothing's Ever Quite What You Thought It Would Be
Label: AF Music
Format: CD


Riveting post-punk on second solo album from Simon York, the front man with Nottingham-based band Luxury Stranger

There has been a lot written in recent months both on this site and in other music magazines about post-punk band Luxury Stranger. The lead singer and founder member, key songwriter and frontman of said band is a chap that goes by the name of Simon York. Simon is actually classically trained musician and has been involved in music from a very early age. He also works as a graphic designer, photographer, session musician (studio and live), and producer, so all in all he's a very talented man indeed. So much so that he has also produced work both commercially and as soundtrack for film and TV, as well as produced sonic soundscapes for art installations and short 'art films'. Simon's recent solo work since 2012 has seen him releasing his '1' EP ,and shortly after this came 'Other Voices' which was concieved as a soundtrack for a British animated film re-released through German label AFmusic. Simon then released his debut solo album 'Sonics On Solace' and now unleashes his follow-up 'Nothing's Ever Quite What You Thought It Would Be', also though AFmusic. Its a lengthy affair, but one that will have you captivated from the first opening soundscape and beat of the album opener, 'Together Alone'. Instantly the power of York's unique vocal blasts through the indie Cure style drum beat, and you know that this isn't going ton your average jaunt through the post-punk/new wave alleyways. The bassline introduction to 'You Dont Belong Here Anymore' is dead in line with that genre though. There's a Joy Division beat leading to an easy low vocal that demonstrates the man's phenomenal range perfectly. All the way through there is brilliant backing from York himself. He plays, records and produces everything on here. The harmonies are classic as on the dark 'Waiting for Someone', and again show off his versatility and cohesive song writing. A lot of this second offering is dark, very dark indeed, but you will have to dig deep because Simon is the master of concealment. He is the king of taking a dark, sinister lyric and wrapping it up in sweet, cuddly rhythms. Sometimes you don't know yourself what you are actually grooving to. There are a massive fourteen tracks on here, all of which are contenders for radio play. One of the most outstanding tracks is 'The Path', another look into the troubled and dark times in which York has pulled himself out of. "Who did you think I was/When you saw my face..down the path?" he pleads. 'I Hear You Call' is a quicker jolt into consciousness and then into the atmospheric 'On Top of The World', which spawns the lines that make up the album title. Sinister laughing echoes the background of 'Look Behind the Mask' with Editors-style guitar wafting around as York menacingly cries, "You know I like it," complete with a haunting whisper and handclap that shouldn't work, but it bloody well does. Then he moves into the slower 'I Know I'm Right', another toe-dip into the classical side of York, again accompanied by some hair tingling harmonies. The experience drifts on with 80's bass and drums in '1' and strange sampling rising up on the enormous '2'. After the infectious beat and battling lyrics of 'Leper', he asks, "Did you see the way they looked at me?" 'A Gentle Reminder' is a track of absolute pure quality. Some wonderful guitar work over a slowish easy drum beat and some exquisite vocals conspire to take over you mind, and by the end it has you shaking your head and wailing along in unison even if like me you can't string two notes together. "I'm so scared that they will not see me," he wails. Do not someone a favour, but do the whole world a favour this yuletide and stick this in everybody's stocking because it would be criminal if just one person in the world missed this. This is really that good. Simon is still working on the Luxury Stranger project. The band are currently working on material for a third and fourth album having just released the 'Face' EP in June. The band's last single 'Nothing Holy' entered the European Alternative Music singles top 40 at number 4 in December 2012.

Track Listing:-
1 Together, Alone
2 You Don't Belong Here Anymore
3 Waiting For Someone
4 The Path
5 I Hear You Call
6 On Top Of The World
7 Look Behind The Mask
8 I Know I'm Right
11 Leper
12 A Gentle Reminder
13 Exit - Return
14 Exit - Return (extended and rearranged mix)

Band Links:-

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