Fatherson – Open Book
Have we found a cure for second album syndrome yet? I Am An Island established these Kilmarnock lads as a competent indie outfit – not trailblazers, no, but in like-minded company among recent Scottish standard-bearers Frightened Rabbit or Admiral Fallow. Open Book, unfortunately, makes few strides from their debut, and feels limited despite its ambitions.
The moodier moments – Always’ dark drumfills, Younger Days’ minor-key atmospherics – give some much-needed texture to an otherwise twee record, and the titular track’s thumping chorus and metronomic percussion are glimpses into what Open Book could have been.
The rest is aspirational anthemics, let down by samey mid-noughties guitar chords (Stop the Car, Forest), saved only by frontman Ross Leighton’s unimpeachable vocal ('These kids are losing their minds,' he wails on Kids, a standout moment). For an indie record, Open Book does what it does well, and with charm, but there’s an unshakeable sense of wasted potential here.