Album #317: Thousand Yard Stare – The Panglossian Momentum

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Slough, England
  • Label: Stifled Aardvark
  • Best Track: It Sparks!

Picking up on another one I overlooked earlier in the year, pre-Britpop indie band Thousand Yard Stare released their first album of new material since 1993 back in May.

This is a band I know the name of without really knowing a lot about. I bracket them in with British guitar bands from the turn of the ’90s like James, The Charlatans and early Verve, which may or may not be accurate.

At the very least, I had them down as being a bit more interesting than what’s on this album. I try not to read other reviews before writing my own, but I was intrigued to see whether critics had found The Panglossian Momentum as dull as I did. It seems not – the album is pretty highly rated, and clearly I’m failing to hear what others are.

They’re not bad songs as such, but they don’t make me feel anything. ‘Sleepsound’ picks up the pace a little and ‘It Sparks!’ claws back some credit for the decent guitar work.

Those two tracks aside, I hear very little variation, with the pace and volume always about the same, the lyrics repeatedly in unimaginative rhyming couplets, and, to seal the deal, two remarkably boring closing tracks, including the eight-and-a-half-minute yawnfest ‘A Thousand Yards’.

It’s a neat and tidy album maybe, but to sit down and listen to it? Not for me at all, sorry.

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