“BTEC” is often used as a bit of a joke. “Jude Bellingham is just a BTEC Jack Grealish”, for example. As it turns out, the members of this band met during a BTEC Music Performance course, but a “BTEC” album, this is not. On the contrary, this is an excellent record.
You often hear talk of the "difficult second album"; we've even mentioned it on this website, but what often goes under the radar is how hard the first album is as well. After all, it's the first time you've ever put this many songs on one record and it'll potentially be the first time you're heard by a wider audience. There's a lot of pressure to deliver on the first go, because if you fail, that could very well be that.
One advantage you have, though, is that the first album is often a best-of of what was written in the years previously. That was the case for Iron Maiden and that's what appears to be the case here. Packed to the brim with hooks, melody and fun, Lie Out Loud is the debut album that many bands can only dream of.
The opener and title track is one of the strongest songs on the album and a great way to start. The chorus is nigh-on perfect, ready-made for Radio 1 and festivals. It’d get stuck in your head if you listened to it on its own, but it’s followed up by two more brilliant songs in ‘Coming Up Short’ and ‘Go Out With You’. The latter is particularly catchy, and another guaranteed earworm. Three songs in and this is already looking at being one of the best indie records of the year.
It’s one of those albums that’s so constant in its quality that it’s hard to pick out a highlight; it’s much easier just to list the songs that aren’t quite as good because there aren’t as many of them. In this case, it’s a good ol’ mid-album slump, with ‘Off My Mind’ and ‘Give Me The Keys’, two back-to-back songs plonked in the dead centre of the album’s list, failing to leave any real mark. The only other slight disappointment comes in ‘Swimming’, which is