Remember Travis? Four really nice lads, beautiful little pop songs? You know, sort of the Coldplay before Coldplay? They released the epically stunning The Man Who in 1999 and followed it with the almost as great The Invisible Band in 2001. Then tragedy struck: drummer Neil Primrose broke bones in his neck in a swimming pool accident in France. Doctors thought he might not ever walk again. Yet, heís surprised everyone by not only walking, but drumming his way back to total normality. And the time away has strengthened the boys from Glasgow immensely. Their new album, 12 Memories, finds them writing songs as catchy as ever. The first single, ìRe-Offender,î is a sweetly sweeping pop song, one that flatters to deceive, as the lyrics are about domestic abuse. They even get political on ìPeace The Fuck Out,î Fran Healy and the boys enlisting the crowd at a Glasgow Celtic match to chant the songís title as the outro to powerful effect. Pop is the language of Travis, though: guitars strum, songs bounce along and are all tied together by Healyís impassioned singing. Welcome back, Travis. We've missed you.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN