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We run the rule over new al­bums from Gyp­sies On The Au­to­bahn, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Ryan Adams and Ti­nari­wen.

This ma­jor la­bel de­but from the highly-touted gui­tar-based fourpiece from Cabra comes with im­pres­sive cre­den­tials. Pro­duced by Rob Kir­wan (U2, Hozier, Depeche Mode etc), Born Brief is a pol­ished af­fair with a big brash ‘80s sound, com­plete with chim­ing gui­tars steeped in re­verb, and an­themic vo­cals burst­ing with en­ergy. Vo­cal­ist James Smith has a distinc­tive if man­nered vo­cal tone, with an im­pres­sive range – while the band ooze the kind of con­fi­dence only youth can bring.

Of the up-tempo songs, ‘Kelly’ dis­plays a def­i­nite U2 in­flu­ence and a riff re­call­ing that of ‘Pride (In The Name of Love)’ while, with its grad­u­ally-build­ing lay­ers of gui­tars and ur­gent melody, ‘Bat­tle’ stands out as a po­tent call­ing card

On the low-key slow burn­ers, they give them­selves a bit more room to breathe: ‘Undo Your Dress’ and ‘You Don’t Wanna’ both have enough pop smarts to win them ra­dio play – and a young au­di­ence.

Else­where, there’s a de­cent song strug­gling to get out in ‘Do Or Die’, the ar­range­ment of which seems un­nec­es­sar­ily com­plex. Far bet­ter is ‘Strength Of Two’ – an­other epic, mid-tempo rocker with strong vo­cal har­monies. ‘Li­brar­ian’, mean­while, has the kind of indie gui­tars, stop­start dy­nam­ics and mem­o­rable cho­rus which should go down re­ally well in a live con­text.

‘Five Words’ is slightly quirkier but boasts an­other strong cho­rus, while the un­adorned ‘Home’ – with only a strummed elec­tric gui­tar for back­ing, and which deals with the sub­ject of suicide – show­cases a mel­lower, more poignant side to the band. While it may dip in parts, Born

Brief has enough im­pres­sive mo­ments to make the Gyp­sies se­ri­ous con­tenders. In short, this is a highly ac­com­plished first ef­fort – Gyp­sies On The Au­to­bahn have ar­rived.


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