Those linguistically indecipherable Brits have an expression for nepotism:
"wearing the old school tie." Wear the appointed color tie of your alma mater
to an interview, and if the guy on the other side of the desk is wearing one
too, bam, you gots the job, baby. (Over here, we call it "wear that color, and
maybe I won't whack your ass," but, hey... every culture has a variation on
the same theme.) Oxford, England trio the Unbelievable Truth (their name
plucked from a black humor Hal Hartley film meant in no way to reflect on the
music) are, in a way, wearing the old school tie.
Not only are the Unbelievable Truth born of a cool-band burg (Candyskins,
Radiohead), but also lead singer/lyricist/guitarist Andy Yorke is cut from the
same cloth as Radiohead's Thom Yorke. But don't carry that information too
far--any of us with a popular older sibling recall how much it sucked to grow
up in that wake. To reference the elder Yorke is to merely suggest that genius
truly runs in this family, and with the addition of Andy's inspired musical
offerings, Mama Yorke should be more than proud. Family heritage tucked neatly
aside, clip the rest of those preconceived ties and don't think Radiohead Jr.
Along with longtime blokes Nigel Powell (drums/keys/guitar/vocals) and Jason
Moulster (bass/guitar/vocals), Yorke carves out his own niche of family/Oxford
tradition with an album of reflective, melancholy vignettes full of hope as
much as they are of heartbreak. From the haunting lilt of the title track to
the cylindrical melody of "Settle Down," every number on Almost Here is rich
in the Truth's ancestry of lush images and heart-soaked delivery. This Yorke
has an ethereal voice that appears to skip across the edges of clouds--kind of
like Chris Isaak minus the twang.
With a subtle, understated quality to their musicianship (no dance track here,
folks), on Almost Here, the firm of Moulster-Powell-Yorke bid for their own
deserved position in the Oxford music scene. Hell, forget about the neckwear
altogether. Stand-alone, these guys get the job.
Karey Ridge Baich
(thanks to LCKeating)