Album Review: We Have Band – ‘Ternion’

Posted: 07/03/2012 in Uncategorized

As published on Entertainment.ie on February 10th 2012

In 2010 three ex-record label employees banded together to produce an album with the dancefloor firmly in mind – WHB, the debut offering from two-boy, one-girl London-based trio We Have Band drew on an impressive array of influences, the result being an 80s-infused brand of modern day mix n’ match pop. Just under two years on We Have Band are back with Ternion – we know that they’re a fan of literal titles, and this album’s moniker is no different, quite simply meaning the Latin word for ‘trio’.

Opening track ‘Shift’ serves as a prime example of the style of We Have Band – that is, difficult to define. An eerily sinister melody played out against pulsating beats with somewhat of a calypso undertone – sure why not? Lead single ‘Where Are Your People?’ made its mark online in advance of the album’s release – it holds a similar mass-appeal feel as that of ‘Divisive’ on the band’s debut. The 80s-esque introductory synths of ‘What’s Mine Is Yours’ are a delight, before the song launches into an all out indie-electro anthem – cowbell n’ all. There may not be much happening vocally but musically the gradual build of ‘Steel in the Groove’ from subdued to frenzied is fantastic – interludes of synthesised effects not unlike those of early video games adding all the more charm. In contrast, We Have Band more than sell their vocal wares on -Tired of Running’, the slowed-down pace and bass-driven melody allowing for the refrains to shine.

We Have Band continue to wear their inspirations for all to hear – the spirit of Depeche Mode, Talking Heads, New Order are all prevalent – and closer to modernity a touch of Bloc Party, Metronomy and Foals (hardly surprising with the latter’s producer Luke Smith at the helm on Ternion). Overall, the album boasts a much fuller sound that its predecessor – WHB was their calling card to attract attention, and now that they have that captive audience, there’s room for exploration with Ternion. Lyrical advances mean that the throwaway musings of their debut are no more, and instead honest and frank allusions to the band’s own experiences from relationships to life on tour. Overall a very solid second offering from We Have Band which will satisfy old fans and attract new ones on the strength of the obvious single choices – it may not be perfect, but there’s enough variety to keep it interesting, and plenty of shoulder-shufflin’ along to be had.

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