Album Review: Less Win – Given Light

  • Peter Hough posted
  • Reviews

Less Win

Given Light - The Big Oil Recording Company

From the clanging opening of Tunnel, this sounds like it’s going to be a massive album. Massive in that it’s uncompromising and loud, with little regard for the musical fashions of the day. When you’re described as ‘post punk’ you have a pretty wide and varied palette available to you. Danish three-piece Less Win have taken this artistic freedom and constructed a vivid canvas of sound. But it’s painted in dark musical colours. Bass and drums are to the fore, the former growling and swirling. ‘Post punk’ is apt, because sonically the overall sound has hints of the darker corners of that landscape, particularly The Chameleons, and the overall impression is of an album that’s ever so slightly anachronistic.

Despite it’s determined art rock sensibilities and horn-based excursions into near jazz territory, there is plenty of melody to enjoy and this keeps GivenLight on the right side of the kind of self-destructive awkwardness some bands mistake for charm or quirkiness. It’s a challenging listen at times, and letting all three members have a go in front of the microphone does add up to a bit of a lack of cohesion and continuity. In fact, if I have a criticism of the album, it is that this variation detracts a little from the overall personality of the album. Few bands with multi-vocalists manage to pull this off.

It’s not all po-faced and serious. Top track for me is History of Hope, which sounds a bit like what would happen if Bryan Ferry formed a sinister ska band. Man Of My Time is almost jaunty and uplifting. There is plenty of drive and interest to be found on Given Light but it’s not an immediate toe-tapper. Dark and serious, with a dash of 1985 through it, it’s an album for introspective winter nights. If forceful Nordic melancholy floats your boat, this is for you.

Given Light by Less Win is out now on The Big Oil Recording Company