Better Whenever

Written by: PP on 07/09/2015 23:33:00

Echoing the sounds and expressions of so many awesome punk bands, it's surprising that Elway aren't a better band. "Better Whenever" is their third album that changes very little - if anything - about their sound, solidifying their stance as that easygoing melodic punk band with intimate vibes that never wrote that basement punk rock anthem nor that Gaslight Anthem-esque modern Americana punk rock song that'd be their breakthrough to either scene. It's a shame, really, because the band are truly charming live both on large festival stages as well as tiny venues based on my experience, and certainly write decent material, as both "Leavetaking" and "Delusions" have shown during the last four years.

The problem? It's just so unflashy. Throughout their career Elway have lacked flair for writing the genre-uniting anthem that bands like Red City Radio, The Menzingers, or The Lawrence Arms were able to do on a consistent basis. Instead, they've always written mid-tempo punk rock that borders on straight up alternative rock during their slower moments in a way that's always minimum decent, but almost always nondescript. The big choruses, the subtle catch-phrases, the key moments of explosive passion that their peers have demonstrated, well, none of these have really formed a part of Elway's repertoire. The same applies for "Better Whenever". They continue to write straight up, easily digestible punk rock meets alternative rock that manifests itself in songs that are all pretty good. "Better Whenever", the title track, is catchy enough. "Frequent Wind" is a slower and somewhat more experimental (relatively speaking) in terms of its tempo and structure, and again underlines the solid fundamentals Elway have in writing this type of music. "Lunatic Thirteens" sees vocalist Tim Browne almost break into a scream during the most passionate moment of the song. "Albuquerque Low" is probably the catchiest track on the record, reaching almost into pop punk with its sound.

Still... it's just so unflashy. Pretty much all songs on "Better Whenever" are good, but none of them are truly fantastic. None of them carry the album in the same way as "Good Things", "Navigating The Windward Passage" or "Great Expectations" does. That has always been a problem with Elway - a solid punk rock band with enough catchy tunes to have people buying records, merch and come out to the shows - which unfortunately continues unchanged on "Better Whenever": good, but not great.


Download: Better Whenever, Albuquerque Low, Lunatic Thirteens
For the fans of: Western Settings, The Swellers, Downtown Struts, The Gaslight Anthem, Luther, The Lawrence Arms
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.07.2015
Red Scare Industries

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