Pain of Life E.P.

Right from the very start I want to hate Lloyd. Just from reading his ego-tastic press release, I instantly feel hostile towards him. I can’t quite put my finger on what irks me so much; maybe it’s his cocky and grammatically inaccurate press-release which stops just short of announcing that Lloyd is the messiah; perhaps the fact he feels that name-dropping his half sister Claudia Winkleman will make him cool (it really doesn’t); maybe it’s his lyrics which are just overwrought sixth form poetry at their worst; or maybe I’m just jealous because he has better sideburns than me. However, here at the Boar we do actually have to listen to the music we are reviewing, we are not the NME after all. So here we go…

Listening to his music, it is initially very easy to fault Lloyd; the songs are arranged and played horribly. Musically, it all sounds a bit like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for the over-45s, all bad funk guitars and easy listening dynamics. Opener ‘Red Blood Sky’ is the worst offender; if it wasn’t for the very whiney, very white vocals it would sound very at home on the Shaft soundtrack. The awfulness is compounded by the lyrics that sound like they’ve been written by a 4-year-old. ‘Red Blood Sky’ highlights the main problem with Lloyd; he is a singer-songwriter who can neither sing nor actually write a good song.

He says; “I don’t write to hide myself, I want to surprise myself and articulate the unspoken. For me, each song is a journey beneath the surface of our everyday lives.” I kid you not, his press release actually says this, while at the same time declaring he is a mix of “Jim Morrison, Jeff Buckley, and Johnny Cash…” I want to find whoever has been telling Lloyd he is this talented and find out how tone deaf they really are. Beyond the awful ‘Red Blood Sky’ comes the plodding atonal ‘Sundown’ where Lloyd tries to be a soul singer, albeit one bereft of soul and with a voice that sounds like Tom Smith from Editors talking down the phone. However, nothing prepares you quite for the complete nadir that is title-track ‘Pain Of Life’. For a start, any song with such a pretentious title is bound to be crap, however according to Lloyd and his press release, it is a “deep lyrical confession”. I would argue that any song with the lyrics “Haunted by Devils/Searching for guidance/To heal scars inside” is only deep if you also happen to think that The Ting Tings are musical innovators.

The fact is, I don’t see the point in Lloyd, the fact that he can’t even find a small time indie record label to release this abysmal pile of mid-life crisis drudgery says it all really. He lives in Leamington; in fact he calls it Leamington Spa. Rock stars don’t come from Leamington Spa. Overall though I wouldn’t particularly worry. The chances of anyone other than me actually sitting down to listen to this are very low. And on the plus side, it is only an EP.


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