It’s been a long time coming, but Apologies, I Have None have finally released their debut full-length and it’s absolutely fantastic. Having heard everything the band has done up to this point, and seen them live countless times, I always knew that this was going to turn out great. What I didn’t expect was to have my expectations completely shattered, and that’s exactly what’s happened here.
There’s no beating around the bush when it comes to London. ’60 Miles’ hits you in the face right from the off and just doesn’t stop. The overarching theme of England’s capital making the record completely cohesive, and a very easy listen, despite some of the darker, more intense, subject matter. Rarely have I heard a record that can go from completely uplifting, to down and self loathing, and then do the whole thing all over again so seamlessly. This intensity is epitomised in ‘The 26’, but that was just one of the many times this record caught me off guard in the best way possible. It runs the emotional gamut, and does it expertly.
The record also delivers us a more polished Apologies, I Have None. Previous releases have been far from badly produced, but there’s been very little of this quality out there. This becomes especially apparent on the new recordings of ‘Sat In Vicky Park’ and ‘Joiners And Windmills’. Both songs sound better than ever and really fit in well amongst some of the newer, harder, tunes on the record. It also offers up something different, musically. ‘Foundations’ is nothing more than Dan and a piano, the rest of the band taking a back seat. And whilst it doesn’t sound like a ‘typical’ Apologies song, it’s by far the the most interesting song on the record.
Whilst I love how different ‘Foundations’ is and how intense ‘The 26’ gets, it’s ‘Concrete Feet’ – a song about the harsher aspects of life – that stands out as my favourite. The way the music builds in conjunction with the, seemingly self-deprecating lyrics really helps the song hit home. That’s not to say the lyrics aren’t powerful on their own: “You’ll always make mistakes/you’ll always fuck shit up/you will sometimes make bad choices/and blame that shit on bad luck” is just one example of the lyrical tour de force that this song (and the entire record) is.
In fact, everything about London is fantastic (it’s better than the city it’s named after, that’s for sure). So much so, that I’ve found it hard to review. It’s so good that I’ve found it hard to find a fault. I’d have to really start nitpicking to come up with something I didn’t like about these ten songs. I know there’s no such thing as a perfect record, but this might be as close as you’re going to get. It shows off exactly what Apologies, I Have None are all about, and should see the previously uninitiated clamoring for older material and a chance to see them live.