Album review: A Genuine Freakshow - Oftentimes

With seven of them at least one should be a bit odd. But these orchestral indie-poppers stand firmly in the ‘normal’ camp.

This Reading seven-piece claim to have found the middle ground between pop and post-rock after a couple of years working at it.

But Oftentimes is less tempestuous an outing than that would lead you to believe, paying lip service to the latter and majoring on orchestra-laden indie-pop.

The pace and majesty of tracks like You Cut Me Out recall early Elbow fronted by Keane’s Tom Chaplin, but with a less firm hand on drama’s tiller.

The earnest, choirboy delivery from singer Timothy Sutcliffe is coupled to trumpet, cello and violin to bolster the usual indie line-up, which works particularly well on the violin-heavy epic Holding Hearts.

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But even this soaring soliloquy falls shy of seizing your heart. Not exactly stellar, but points for trying.

3 stars

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