The Answer - New Horizon review


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Band: The Answer
Album: New Horizon
Release date: September 2013

01. New Horizon
02. Leave With Nothin
03. Spectacular
04. Speak Now
05. Somebody Else
06. Concrete
07. Call Yourself A Friend
08. Baby Kill Me
09. Burn You Down
10. Scream A Louder Love
11. Road Less Travelled [Limited edition bonus track]
12. Feel The Fear [Limited edition bonus track]
13. Real As It Gets [Limited edition bonus track]

At this point in their career, The Answer should have been a much bigger act than they were; rather than perpetually building their reputation step by step, the band should have been going to bigger and better things in leaps and bounds. It is unfortunate then that without this, the wave having not crashed on the shore and instead being reliant on a continuous momentum to carry it forward until it could break, that New Horizon comes along and slows this momentum, leaving the band lost at sea though visible on said horizon.

Three albums and seven years since their debut, The Answer were always the band that threatened to unleash 'that' record that would live up to the hype and justify all the speculation surrounding the band. By New Horizon, the band were faced with the growing possibility that by the time they were able to match the hype, it would be when most people had moved on. While it isn't a bad record per se, it just doesn't have that spark to really catch a flame; sure, the band are pouring fuel everywhere, but nothing ever really catches fire.

It doesn't necessitate that New Horizon is a write-off as a result though; as mentioned earlier, the band does write a decent song and there are tracks on here that will see you nod your head as they play along. "Spectacular" features some nice loud/quiet dynamics and good guitar riffs from Mahon, while "Concreate" features a good chugging riff and solid bass work as the song sounds threatening as it rumbles along. "Baby Kill Me" is a nice blues-inspired track that puts a new spin on the relationship drama song.

The song that comes closest to lighting the tinder box aflame is the ironically named "Burn You Down", an upbeat and focused rocker that knows what it needs to do and doesn't mess around. It stands tall over the rest of the album and does make you think that if the rest of the album could be this good then the band wouldn't be where they are now.

The Answer are strong on their instruments and can back up the hype with talent; Neeson has a nice bluesy soulful voice, which he uses to its fullest extent, while Heatley and Waters hold down the rhythm admirably, with Waters carving his own niche on the four-string rather than sounding the junior to Mahon's six-string. They may not be miles ahead of a very strong field, but they at least have the tools to give them the opportunity to separate themselves from their rivals.

It is here that lies the problem; the band are unable to fully utilize these evident talents in such a way to make a great rather than simply good song. While the band can create a platform for their talents to show themselves, they don't take advantage of it and often sound like they're holding back, but for what cause is unknown. Tracks like "Call Yourself A Friend" and "Leave With Nothin" are full of promise but it is never realized to the full extent; neither will put you off, but they won't have you running back for more anytime soon.

There are tracks that walk the middle of the road as if they're stuck there magnetically. "Somebody Else" and "Speak Now" don't move the dial in either direction so at the very least they keep the record ticking over; however, the album doesn't have the strong material to compensate tracks like these, which New Horizon can ill afford to have.

The Answer tread water on New Horizon; it is very listenable, but in a world where you have access to such a wide variety of music, it fades into obscurity shortly after you hit the play button. If you are a fan of the band, this album will give you plenty to enjoy; for casual fans it is something that is listenable but not memorable at the same time.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Written on 01.11.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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