In a week that sees new albums released from The Foo Fighters and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds it might be a challenge for other releases to get the attention they deserve. One of those releases that you all need to find time to listen to and help it get the recognition it needs is the debut album from Wrexham’s finest The Royston Club. Shaking Hips and Crashing Cars is available to buy or stream now. If you can spend your cash pick up a copy of this album, devote as much of your life to it as you can and your mood will instantly lift, you will feel like the world is yours for the taking, you will be ready to face life’s challenges head on and feel 10 feet tall.
Many of you will be familiar with The Royston Club and will have been following their journey closely over the last four years. They have spent time honing their craft, releasing singles, EP’s, building up a fanbase through touring and doing what is needed to get their sound heard. This is such an important point, this is how bands get together, this is how music gets out to people. Social media may help in that it provides a platform but it does not harness and create talent. There is an eco-system around music that gets smaller and smaller each year. Money needs to be put in to this eco system to ensure venues survive, to ensure that bands like The Royston Club have a place to play and they can build up a real life following and get their albums written and recorded in a way that is right to each individual band.
The sound of Shaking Hips and Crashing Cars is a sound of four best mates growing up, finding their place in the world, having the time of their lives and wanting to share these moments with the rest of us. Every song on the album is a standout, it is one of those albums that time goes by in an instant whilst you allow yourself to get lost in the wonderful pop music that emerges from your speakers. Previous single Mrs Narcissistic, originally released in 2020, is as perfect as pop music gets. I often wish we still lived in a world where singles matter, where Top of The Pops was the highlight of our week. If we were in that world now The Royston Club playing Mrs Narcissistic on Top of The Pops would be one of those moments that we would all be talking about the next day. The song is crafted with so many pop sensibilities, the verses and the chorus weave beautifully throughout. The melodies are some of the happiest melodies you are likely to hear. The lyrics are full of reflection “So as I sit down and I wonder what went wrong”.
Shallow Tragedy is already an indie club classic, the way the song moves from fast to slow gives the song a feeling of euphoria that makes you feel glad to be alive. The opening guitar riffs in Mariana will send a surge of energy through your body, and when the drums kick in there really will be no stopping you. The chorus is full of youthful enthusiasm “But you were way out of my league / But I still tried and I still failed to take you back with me”. 52 carries an important message about the state of the world and how certain views that people still hold should have been left behind “I think we should have left those views in post war Britain 52”. Cold Sweats is a tender, emotional song that will tug on those heartstrings and has so many moments that we all can relate to “Your missed calls gave me life for a week”. The song builds into a positive anthem about wanting to find more from life, not wanting to waste time “I’m sick and tired of wasting all these Sundays / it’s always Sunday / I’m lying here wasting away.”
Final mentions go to A Tender Curiosity, a gentle acoustic led song that slows things down in a beautiful heart wrenching manner. I absolutely adore the strings and soothing vocals in this song. Believe it or Not will become the sound of Summer 2023. With plenty of live dates and festivals booked this song will be blasting out of many speakers over the summer and will bring us all together as one big collective to lose ourselves within the amazing sound of The Royston Club. Cherophobe which brings the album to a close in a very grandiose way, sending us on our way with an unbelievable amount of joy and positivity. This is a song that has been put together with an incredible amount of love and attention to detail. Cherophobe was originally released on an EP then re-recorded for the album and, in my opinion, this is an absolute classic that every living being in this world needs to hear. The orchestration and the lyrics about figuring out who we are give the song that extra edge “I’m a lost boy trying to understand / God knows I’m trying / But she won’t lend a hand.”
As far as debut albums go they do not get much better than Shaking Hips and Crashing Cars. There is always a place in my heart for bands like The Royston Club, it does not matter how old I get or how many times I hear bands like this. What matters most is how this band makes you feel. The Royston Club quite simply make me feel glad to be alive.