The Strange Death Of Liberal England - Drown Your Heart Again (Republic Of Music)

A look at why TSDOLE are still as important as they always promised.

Released Sep 13th, 2010 via Republic Of Music / By Rob Evans
The Strange Death Of Liberal England - Drown Your Heart Again (Republic Of Music) So this is the long awaited debut album from The Strange Death Of Liberal England who, after releasing their last EP, like, three years ago, spent ages not playing any shows and recording by the sea with the Richard P Horne Youth Orchestra who were blah blah blah blah who CARES. It’s been eighteen months since Strange Death, that gloriously folksy middle ground between the Arcade Fire and A Silver Mt. Zion, actually released any new material and all that really matters is: have they just wasted everyone’s time? Should anyone still care about anything they do? Are we all just more concerned with The XX and Neon Indian now?

No! Just take a moment to remember why Strange Death were awesome in the first place. Big melodramatic statements held up on placards. Giddy yells. Loud, crashing pop music made by romantics and traditionalists who clearly gave a damn about what they were doing. Now, imagine that, but just more of it, and also there’s an orchestra. Brilliant, right? Yes. Yes it is brilliant. Drown Your Heart Again probably was worth the wait and serious lack of touring after all.

The band have definitely changed, though. For one thing, Adam Woolway’s voice has certainly deepend and lost a bit of the yelping edge it always used to have. This can be taken as a pro or a con depending on your tastes, but it certainly does mean he has a more distinctive style than he used to – comparing him to Win Butler or Efrim Menuck is no longer quite as apt. You could say he sounds a little more sombre. Things generally feel a little more restrained all around – it’s probably hard to get an orchestra to cut loose in the way the band do on early tracks like ‘Oh Solitude’ – but it’s a restraint that comes with the confidence of maturity. You don’t need to yell quite so loud if what you are yelling is a little more thought out, and is backed by epic horn fanfares.

It’s all about those horns. Mark Ronson slaps them on everything and maybe he’s right to? Their addition worked wonders for Los Campesinos! earlier this year, and they’ve done the same thing for Strange Death. When they swell up behind the rolling militaristic drums and Woolway’s relentless and forceful delivery, the band gain a power they were never able to access before. The Strange Death Of Liberal England are a band capable of, and best suited to, big things. Here, they’re bigger than ever and hopefully Drown Your Heart Again will earn them the recognition they deserve as the UK’s most monumentally epic pop band. Don’t miss out on this one, especially if The Suburbs left you feeling a little unfulfilled.