One would be forgiven for letting Little Comets’ debut album ‘In Search Of Elusive Little Comets’ slip by them – or at least I hope one would (as I’ll admit, it slipped by me at first). But almost two years on sees the release of the Tyneside trio’s sophomore full length – Life Is Elsewhere, and I implore you to not let this second full length offering pass you by.
Opening with the glorious lead single ‘A Little Opus’, it’s immediately apparent that Little Comets have opted for a more intelligent and thought out take on the indie genre this time round, arguably akin to the likes of Everything Everything. Gone are the dated jangly guitars, which have been replaced with intricate guitar lines, lusciously coated with reverb. Vocalist Robert Coles’ raspy shrieks have been dialed down slightly, helping to reveal his very impressive range and actually quite seductive voice. You get the impression that Little Comets are really trying to dig their way out of the indie landfill they’ve found themselves in – with this sentiment being mirrored in A Little Opus’ closing lyrics “because I want to make a breakthrough / a tired addendum to working hard”.
The next 15 minutes of the album are pure unadulterated indie pop pleasure with ‘Jennifer’ and ‘Bayonne’ being clear highlights, both bouncing around with brazen aplomb. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the band certainly has a knack for writing a catchy hook, with so many of the tracks’ choruses lasting in the memory long after the album finishes.
‘Violence Out Tonight’ marks the natural midway point of the album, and with it comes a drastic change in mood. It’s a somewhat welcome relief from the onslaught of catchy hooks and melodies, giving the listener a bit of a breather. Bravely taking on the subject of rape, chief songwriter Robert Coles exudes earnestness with his lyrics, displaying genuine concern for the subject and shows that Little Comets are no one-trick pony.
The second half of Life Is Elsewhere reverts back to its original guise of indie pop brilliance, including the excellent 2011 single ‘Worry’, and ‘The Western Boy’ complete with a hint of Earth, Wind & Fire-esque instrumentals – minus the brass.
It’s testament to Little Comets’ songwriting capabilities that the quality of the music and lyrics does not falter throughout the album, with proceedings being rounded off by two slower tracks – ‘Woman Woman’ and ‘In Blue Music We Trust’. Here lies perhaps my main criticism of the album. Whilst the slower tracks do give Life Is Elsewhere a heart and a soul, having these more ballad-like tracks placed earlier in the album, splitting up the array of potential singles scattered throughout, may have offered a degree of balance, where in some places I feel it is lacking. However this is in no way a reason to not give the record a chance, as in my opinion Life Is Elsewhere is simply fantastic, a hell of a lot of fun, and certainly deserves your attention.