Label: Something In Construction, Release date: 08/11/2010 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon It's always hard for a band to lose a member, and losing their singer is even more traumatic. Although not the spine of any band, the singer is usually the more recognisable part of a band's sound (debatable if we talk about shoegaze). With that said, it's understandable that The Concretes would change their brand a little after previous lead singer Victoria Bergsman went out to do a guest role on that smug and annoying song (the one with the whistling, you know which one) and then then go on to have a pretty good solo career. What's a band to do? Like a relationship finishing, the last thing you want to do is what you used to do with the previous partner. If all this sounds like waffle, well, it's more like a foreboding of the final mark of this review. Being blunt, WYWH still feels like a transitional album. The period of catharsis when a long relationship has finished and you are under the foot of the homespun adage that dictates “renovate or die”. The Concretes used to have this very lo-fi retro sound that created a rabid fan base in the indie world. They sure had an ear for pop and, in a way, they still do. They just wrapped their lo-fi sensibilities in an electronic form, so instead of getting an innocent 60s-tinged pop, WYWH offers a 90s-tinged electronic. Not exactly Eurodance, not exactly Café del Mar ambient stuff, and not exactly something that sounds particularly great. By no means are any of the songs bad, it's just a tad bit jarring. WYWH starts with 'Good evening', with a constant beat and some very good vocals (courtesy of Lisa Milber). A few playful guitar lines are thrown for good measure and for six minutes, even with a great rhythm section, the song sadly doesn't really connect with me. Same problem happens with the following track,. 'My Ways'. There are moments when the new direction does work, showing another side of The Concretes, possibly the one they now want to achieve. 'Crack in the paint' is still flexing the electronica muscles, without straining, creating a great, moody groove that really engages. Equally engaging is the spiteful 'I wish we'd never met' (the instrumental break is nifty), the wistful 'Sing for me' and the dreamy 'Oh my love', all managing to balance some of the best stuff from their past while doing something new. 'Knck Knck' even goes for a little postpunkey drumming (blink and miss, though) and again, it's in moments like this when the band's new direction sounds promising. Other songs, sadly, don't really cut it. 'All day' is a little like 'Good evening': it sounds okay, maybe a little toothless. It sounds like what other 80s retro bands are doing out there and, again, it probably is due to The Concretes trying to find a true identity. Going back to my daft analogy a few paragraphs ago: it's like the changes you go through after a break up. Different clothes, different hairstyles, different friends. The band is trying different things, some work, others don't. WYWH might not be completely to my liking, but I personally rather have a band try something new (which might or not work) than stagnate on an era. I didn't enjoy it completely, but you might want to check this one out. A probable grower, maybe, but a sure owner of little nice gems ('Knck Knck', Sing for me'). Photobucket