James are back, constantly evolving, and here they release something quite magical.
The new EP consists of four new songs, and is the band’s first material since 2016’s Girl At The End Of The World.
‘Better Than That’ – which also happens to be the name of the forthcoming album – is an upbeat monster of a song with classic James vibes. It’s infectious, melodic pop that draws you in with a rollicking chorus. Unfortunately, the song has somewhat throwaway verses, but the chorus has an anthemic and euphoric ambience that catapults us into another universe while demanding multiple listens. It truly is the quintessential offering here. The mood then changes abruptly for second track, ‘Busted’. It’s a slow-burner of a song, always refraining from exploding out, remaining a somewhat mellow listening experience. It has a dreamy, almost hypnotic vibe to it courtesy of the horns, taking a much softer and melancholic route to the former track.
‘Hank’ is something of an oddment. Packed with fuzzy guitars fused with extremely distorted vocals, it slides along with a thumping, almost militaristic delivery. Political razor-sharp lyrics in the form of ‘White fascists in the White House’ feels like they’re trying too hard to be edgy and confrontational with the lyrical content. ‘Broken By The Hurt’ perfectly wraps up the EP, floating along in a delicate dreamlike state and is a breath of fresh air coming after the industrial wailing of ‘Hank’. The deep bass gives the song more intimacy and depth, allowing the emotion to come through. Ultimately, this is a fabulous trove of joys for fans.