Le Reno Amps

Le Reno Amps are a duo from Glasgow, walking the alt-country path while mixing it up with some more mainstream big-tune pop. The over-arching feel here is one of big tunes backing up an underlying melancholy that is cosseted and cherished and wallowed in until it is just beginning to turn to a new day where the lads can live and love again by cutting free from the worn out past.

Gently sad, resigned strumming opens the album, presaging the second song, a bouncy but hate-filled romp through the end of a relationship. Horns blare and drums beat. Next up – Beautiful – is a stroll through unhappy feelings again, twisted into a joyful stroll with picking that sounds like a banjo, steering us through a country-inflected wander. Songs are sad-tinged explorations and picking at the scabs of old emotional wounds, set to jaunty tunes.

Holly Wouldn’t Have Me strikes a false note, being a bit clumsy in the lyrics and marking becoming a father as the end of all ambitions – it rings a bit adolescent. Treehouse is a bit more cheery before the bleak Deserted Sons heads deceptively into nearly solo guitar territory before hitting a double time groove and some Beatle-esque double tracked vocal harmonies. Patience is a waltz and How You Did Me Wrong might sum up the album’s theme. Moving To LA is a lovely piece and, if you find an MP3 of it, might just be the touchstone to see if you’d enjoy the rest. The last track, Wound Up, bowls a googly with a crazy organ-fuelled punky bop.

This album is a journey through a tuneful landscape filled with the burnt out dreams of young men.

Ross McGibbon