Best Before 05 June 18 –  The Dated (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is something of the late 70’s, New Wave sound to opening salvo Since You Left Me, a sort of less angsty, more rock and roll Elvis Costello or perhaps even the sort of thing the mighty Nick Lowe might have penned. And like the excellent Mr Lowe, who had a successful career penning deft and astute songs before and long after the last echoes of punk had faded away, The Dated have a similar timeless sound. Timeless in that it is a sound that defies easy genre beyond that of clever singer-songwriting form writ large for full band delivery.

Stick a pin anywhere in the musical timeline of history and you will find artists doing something similar and that is not to say that The Dated are out of tune with fashion or playing a nostalgia card but rather that they make music of a style that is always relevant, necessary and sought after. You don’t have to follow fashion when you are part of a style that transcends such fads.

Since You Left Me also shows their ability to weave rock muscle through pop-chops, the result a robust yet groovesome slice of music with vocals reminiscent of Moe Berg’s slightly cynical delivery on I’m An Adult Now, and Sky I See takes more of a poetic and lilting path. There is something angular running through Take Me To The River, a background rhythm which seems to gently trip the song up, or at least those trying to dance to it, in a wonderful subversive fashion and this musical four-pack ends with the shimmering tones and chiming riffs of Kiss You In The Rain.

Although I have compared The Dated to a number of singer-songwriters and stripped back post-punks, what sets them apart and places them in a much more modern era is the textured nature of their songs. Instead of driving home with one solid unmistakable riff and hanging all their hopes on it to hit home, instead they nest one inside another and then cocoon that in even more gentle and delicate musical motifs, almost as traditional folk bands might. So the end result is timeless, genre hopping but wonderfully familiar. The best of all worlds if you ask me. And you did. Otherwise why would you have read this far?

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