“A one-two punch delivering tight song structures with strong melodies, making a few of these radio-worthy hits. It’s power-pop rock that’s Sugar-sweet from your head to your feet. Comparisons to Foo Fighters, late Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Everclear fronted by a raspy Bob Mould are warranted.” —J.R. Oliver, EarCandy
London-based tvfordogs has taken a direct route through indie rock, releasing a trio of Brit-rock albums on Wampus over a decade — 2002’s breakthrough debut Heavy Denver, 2005’s Jack Endino-infused Roller, and 2008’s purist retrenchment, Starling. Each album highlighted Neil Luckett’s accessible songwriting and virtuoso guitar playing, with bedrock contributions from bassist Mark Homer and drummer Paul Jarrett.
After a five-year layoff during which Luckett became a father (and honed his jazz and classical chops between midnight feedings), the band reunited under the guidance of engineer Mark Lord to create perhaps their most satisfying and eclectic set to date, By Chance. Fueled by Luckett’s growing recognition of the perilous state of the music industry, the album serves up both defiant anthems (“Cecilia Lane,” “Solid Ground”) and bittersweet postcards (“Alibi,” “Splendid Isolation,” “By Chance”) that find Luckett wondering just how much control he has over his artistic fate in 2014. And the answer? Not much.
Is there a silver lining? “An encouraging sign,” he says, “is the increasingly eclectic nature of people’s tastes. They’re less into genres now. They tend to ‘like what they like,’ which could be anything.”
By Chance was released on October 28, 2014.
Also available from Wampus: Starling, Roller, Heavy Denver, and Neil Luckett’s Radio for Cats.