Barely staggering into his twenties and donning shirts you’d expect to find in a Benidorm sun-setters suitcase. On the surface Only Real’s debut album screams Microsoft Paint and GCSE leftovers. Once inside though ‘Jerk At The End Of The Line’ is everything you’d expect and more from West London’s cheeky chappy.
Only Real has only really released a few tracks before but from those alone you could probably predict what this record might sound like. We’ve become accustomed to Niall Galvin’s quick-wit vocals and fuzzy samples in 'Yesterdays' which bare considerable resemblance to the Jamie T of yesteryear, whilst ‘Pass The Pain’ paints a pastel coloured landscape with licks of Galvin’s tongue in cheek lyrics; ‘You hate mornings, it’s crazy right?’ More often than not though, he’s not pointing the finger at others but turning on himself.
Four songs in and ‘Break It Off’ morphs a glittering self-reflection with Galvin’s restless spits, ‘remember me, I’m the cracks in the glass’. Despite the untouchable youth appearance, at his core grumbles are surfacing and he’s down on his luck. Never more so than in, ‘Petals’; a brooding and haunting late night cruise riddling through Galvin’s troubles.
As far as the spotless production goes, the melancholy melodies in ‘Cadillac Girl’ and ‘Can’t Get Happy’ are tainted in Mac Demarco woosey guitars, where elsewhere the effortless, ‘Cadillac Girl’ and ‘When This Begins’ creates murmurs of King Krule - and not just because of his similarly ginger sprouts of hair.
The song which most reflects Galvin’s journey so far though, ‘Daisychained’, weighs up the pop felt ‘oh-woah’s with agitated jitters of ‘they don’t come around here too much’. It brings together a debut record which ties his vibrant melodies to his tongue-twisting troubles and cements Only Real as more than just a twenty-something dressed in angst and Hawaiian shirts.
'Jerk At The End Of The Line'
Out of 10: 8/10
By Josh Shreeve (@JJShreeve)