Review Summary: Learning to fly
Only three records deep into their story, Sticky Fingers have already created what seems to be a broad and eclectic catalogue of music. The strong reggae/dub influence of Caress Your Soul
which brought the band to the fore in the icky faux electronica/indie pop staunchness of 2012, slowly dripped away through 2014’s sophomore Britpop infused and commercially successful Land of Pleasure
. It has almost completely vanished on their latest record, Westway (The Glitter and the Slums)
. What we are left with is a very natural progression from Sticky Fingers previous endeavours, with a further push into the ambient and straight up rock. Although, Westway…
is lucky to be in existence, as the vagabonds of relentless touring, riding high on recognition and acclaim, nearly completely burnt themselves out from championing Land of Pleasure
. With bulging egos, rehab and in-fighting the band were on the brink of collapse. We find in Westway…
a sense of reality check, recovery and sensitivity. It’s a showing of inherent vulnerability.
Sticky Fingers development and progression was prominent through Land of Pleasure
as the song writing improved to a stage where the band felt confident to experiment with their sound. On Westway…
the band has escalated to full Britpop/Alt Rockers, and the experimentation continues. It is a sound that fits them well, as sonically, they master the ability to weave walls of guitar with intricate synth-scapes and melodies that are built for one purpose, to hook.
'Sad Songs’ is an infectious cut, and a ready-made radio tune prescribing to the Brit-Pop theme, while lead single ‘Outcast at Last’ is constructed by a funk infused base line, and along with ‘Something Strange’ which features rapturous rapper Remi, hints the most toward the reggae/dub sound found on Caress Your Soul
. Opening track, ‘One by One’ amplifies the soul searching Sticky Fingers has done the most, as singer Dylan Frost crones, “We reached for the stars but if fell downwards” recognising previous faults, and giving an insight into the past climate of the band. Though as the album continues, the process of healing grows stronger in sound. Acoustic number, ‘Amillionite’ proves to be the medicine;
“Won't let you drift on and out of sight
Like tears in rain
You know I'm always there
Maybe one day we'll hang out
And I'll make it up
I'll make your star shine out…”
shines brightly in a fickle indie scene, as Sticky Fingers have been able to mix the raw with the roar and build a record the soothes the hurt of the past. In Westway…
Sticky Fingers can begin building steps to the top of the pinnacle that almost collapsed on top of them.