Athlete:: Beyond the Neighbourhood (Album Review)
One of those bands who quietly sell respectable amounts (this is their third album), Athlete purvey gently angsty, pretty, middle-of-the-road rock, in which pianos and mildly glitchy synths twinkle politely, guitars sound about as boring as they can, and bits of melody wisp about in search of something anthemic.
Joel Pott sings like a scuffed-up Chris Martin – still adenoidal, but gruffer – and manages to be a slightly more focused lyricist, though only The Outsiders has a line that makes you sit up. (As a chorus, “I’m away with the fairies now” is so ludicrous, it’s almost affecting.) As you listen to Beyond the Neighbourhood, you find yourself spending an awful lot of time asking yourself whether you’re feeling anything yet.