The Loungs - Big Wow

Gareth Main reviews the second album from St Helens band The Loungs, 'it's like the Cosmic Rough Riders... but good'

Released Apr 8th, 2010 via Fresh Hair / By Gareth Main
The Loungs - Big Wow Three years ago, The Loungs released one of the unexpected debuts of the year. Without fanfare, the questionably titled We are the Champ snuck its way to widespread critical acclaim, before the band sauntered back into obscurity.

Sneaking their way back out again, without the huge PR blitzkrieg that ‘next big things’ tend to have afforded to them, The Loungs have followed up with what I suspect is a self-released record, under the moniker of Fresh Hair Records.

The difference between The Loungs and, say, an inbox raping band such as The Drums is that The Loungs are not the ‘next big thing’. This is unfortunate, because Big Wow is a fabulously enjoyable record. Garnished with the same bounce along melodies that made their debut such a joy, it’s coming out at a perfect time – just as the elongated winter cold takes a warmer turn, and the summer festivals start to emerge as a reality, rather than a long-awaited dream.

Points of reference are easy: there’s the frivolous stampede of Supergrass, the summertime love of the Cosmic Rough Riders (but better, obviously) mixed with more than a tinge of Mersey Beat that’s to be expected from a band of that region.

But the record is not without its weaknesses. Such frivolity can wear towards the end of forty minutes, and softer touches such as ‘Honesty Box’, which sounds like something that would have come out from The Good Will Out-era Embrace provide some much required relief, although it does get you wondering whether this record is a modern guilty pleasure for those who grew up through the heyday of Britpop, and still don’t mind the nostalgic spin of a Cast record.

That, though, could be this record’s perfect selling point. Their debut was no breaking the walls of originality down masterpiece, and The Loungs can never be that kind of band, but Big Wow provides great summery melodies, and unabashed, danceable indie without having to subscribe to the ‘we sound like The Rapture’ bandwagon that bolted with its horse five years ago. It’s worth investment for those letting go of the nineties, or those who just want something fun to listen to for a change…