With a recent V2002 gig behind them and having provided support for several major acts, the majority of Halo’s debut album ‘LuNAtic riDe’ will already prove familiar to some. Three singles preceding its release has also ensured Halo’s assault on the singles charts is firmly on its way.
Album opener ‘sTill hERe’ instils a certain degree of promise in Halo. Written in a particularly pleasing sounding 6/8 time signature, the song defines the sound of the band as any worthy title track from a debut album should. Unfortunately, as is the case with several tracks on the album, the music is let down by its limited lyricism. In this case, vocalist Graeme’s attempt to rhyme "eternity" and "pretty", despite somehow managing it. ‘vaMpiREsOnG’ beautifully combines chilling guitars with vocal melodies but is overshadowed again by certain lyrics; this time the repeating hook line of ** “I love you, let me go down on you” **. Instantly apparent, particularly on past single ‘cOld LiGht of Day’, is the band’s love of vocal harmonies. Remaining a constant throughout the album, Halo’s vocal ability is genuinely impressive, easily giving any boy band a run for their money.
Halo hate being compared to sounding like Muse and Radiohead, which is fine, they don’t. They lack the complex diversity and song writing ability of Radiohead and riff based energy of Muse. Clearly talented musicians with interesting musical ideas they are again let down by some tracks being simply too undeveloped in areas of ‘LuNAtic riDe’. For each genuinely impressive track including the likes of singles ‘NeVerEnDing’ and ‘sANctimoNious’, there is another which fails to progress in directions you’d think and hope they would. ‘InciNERatoR’ may have an energetic feel to it, a theme running through the album, but it still doesn’t distract from the fact the words ‘reject Nirvana riff’overshadow the song.
Something at the back of the mind doesn’t feel right about Halo. Something you hope isn’t true but doesn’t stop you wandering all the same. Whether it be the band being signed directly to Sony, their slick, almost contrived nature or their ‘fashionable punk’ pretty boy looks. Halo’s live stage presence perfectly complements the exciting elements of their music resulting in a great band to watch, one you hope can capture the feeling in an album. Unfortunately this is something they just don’t manage to pull off as well as they should. Despite showing promise in places, ‘LuNAtic riDe’ could, and on the evidence of half of the album, should have been much more impressive that it is.