On debut ‘Young Chasers’, Circa Waves showed themselves as masters of the student indie disco, hammering out the kind of bangers that sounded tailor-made for the Radio 1 A-list, festival pals-on-shoulders moments or goal of the month celebrations at whim. 2017 follow-up ‘Different Creatures’ built steadily on this, adding a gruff edge to the Merseysiders’ work, giving us bigger choruses and generally amping everything up to 11 in the meanwhile. It’s a damn shame, then, that ‘What’s It Like Over There’ is lukewarm and confused, as if festival main stage spots and Academy tours weren’t proof enough that what they did, they did very well.
It’s both over-produced and underwhelming. Both opener ‘Sorry I’m Yours’ and ‘The Way We Say Goodbye’ sound more the results of a B-list dance producer’s feature list than a leading indie band, while ‘Times Won’t Change Me’ and ‘Me Myself and Hollywood’ are weak photocopies of ‘AM’ era ‘Monkeys.
And while we’d never deny the lure of the ‘50s American Dream doesn’t catch the eye, is 2019 the best year to release a record getting all misty-eyed over our transatlantic neighbours anyway?