Audrey | Audrey EP Review
Hull band Audrey’s debut consists of four tracks, each displaying dozens of influences, encouraging musicianship and strong vocals from shining frontman Josh Darby. As the band smooth out their rough edges, they’re surely set to become a festival powerhouse act.
What instantly comes to mind looking at Audrey’s debut EP is just how much the album art contrasts the music; judging by its cover, Audrey could be a glum post-punk outfit with a shimmer of optimism keeping them afloat. Instead, the Hull band’s first effort is a warm, at times frantic provision of roots rock holding oodles of promise.
Audrey opens with ‘See The Light’, arguably the defining point on the EP (and also a track made to be a rock radio single). Frontman Josh Darby’s vocals are reviving and match the tantalising riff which acts as the spine of the song, pushing a notably classic rock vibe, which is almost (if barely at all) psychedelic. Darby appears to strain his voice around the 1:27 mark, but the fact the singer is pushing that Eddie Vedder/Dave Grohl powerhouse growl so early on shows pleasing signs of ambition.
The four-piece explain on their website that they employ a wide range of influences, “from The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty to Oasis and Foo Fighters”; something clearly evident in their music. The EP only contains four songs, but Audrey appear to cram in as many nods to classic rockers as they possibly can, which somehow doesn’t cause the song order to be unfocused.
‘She Says’ sits as a ZZ Top-esque second track, complete with seductive guitar and bass parts, as well as lyrical content which is as classic as it comes: “Well she looked me in the eyes and then she squeezed my hand, said you’re a pretty little liar but you’re my kind of man.” ‘She Says’, like the track that follows (‘Watch Me Go’) relies on triumphant, chord-based choruses to gap the bouncing verses. While sometimes it feels there is a less than graceful transition from each, ‘Watch Me Go’ in particular contains a hugely rewarding, stoner rock-like bridge which shifts the track’s mood completely.
The EP’s closer is the acoustic ‘Glad To Be’, a typical, almost country love ballad which, if anything, questions the band’s northern origins; Darby sounds like a distressed, lovesick American poet backed by jangly, orchestral misfits in it for the long run. Despite the singer/songwriter approach, ‘Glad To Be’ doesn’t remotely feel like a solo venture, be it the backing oohs and aahs from the band or the deliciously warm bass.
Audrey have been making a name for themselves (as they put it), playing festivals and even supporting Britpop quirks, Space. As they progress, fans will likely want to hear a more solid foundation for the talent the band possess, including the snippets taken from rock giants of the past. Sure, Audrey’s influences are usual for a rock band, but the impressions left on them? Not so much.