Some people can read me like a book. I guess it is fairly obvious to most who spend a little time with me can quickly figure out that I love great British music. It was through one of these folks that I was introduced to the British pop goodness of New Rhodes.
The band was formed in Bristol back in 2001, undergoing a few personnel changes until settling on their current lineup of James Williams (vocals/guitar),Joe Gascoigne (guitar), Jack Ashdown (bass/backing vocals) and Tim Desmond (drums) this past summer. Since their formation a few years back, the band has released a number of singles and EPs. After receiving plenty of critical acclaim overseas, New Rhodes finally released their debut LP, Songs From The Lodge.
Within the opening seconds of the first track, "You've Given Me Something That I Can't Give Back," bands such as Bloc Party, Futureheads and Morning Runner all come to mind. I am all for the Britpop revival, which these lads do with stellar precision. There is a comfortable familiarity in the voice of James Williams as he croons through the catchy-as-hell "Cowardice."
New Rhodes are big fans of anthemic choruses and dramatic swells, something that revisit several times throughout the album, such as on "The History Of Britain." Or "I Wish I Was You." Or "Open Your Eyes." Their use of strings and catchy melodies place some of these songs right smack between The Smiths and British Sea Power. They aren't doing anything innovative or new, but for music fans wanting a solid album filled with lush melodies and unpretentious pop, New Rhodes' Songs From The Lodge is just what the doctor ordered.