Rixton hits the road

A review of British band Rixton's new album, Let the Road.

Rixton hits the road

Rixton is a band that you’ve probably heard recently on the radio, with their song Me and My Broken Heart receiving a fair amount of playtime on the radio and even reaching the  #1 in the U.K. and #14 in the U.S., but they are not just another simple one-hit wonder.

Rixton’s first original album Let the Road is a remarkably diverse album that managed to keep surprising me when I listened to it, even if the quality of the songs varies a little throughout its ten song run.

The band relies mainly on the vocal talents of their lead singer, but that doesn’t mean that the other members slack off as the other members offer their vocals to backgrounds and refrains. While bassist/keyboardist Danny Wilkins and lead guitarist Charley Bugnall are both good, if under-utilized, the drumming of Lewi Morgan is by far the most ear catching instrumental contribution to the album, creating unique beats and rhythms for each song.

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from left to right: Charlie Bagnall, Lewi Morgan, Jake Roche, Danny Wilkin

Jake Roche has a real talent for singing, which is entirely apparent in each of the songs, which all heavily favor his voice over the other instruments used in the songs. Roche reminds the listener a lot of Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine when singing the faster paced songs almost to the point that it sounds like an imitation, but it’s when the rhythm slows that the vocals really start to shine and become a much more memorable and unique sound.

Let the Road is the first song on the album, and, to put it bluntly, this is the song that kind of sticks out like a sore-thumb from the other more pop oriented offerings on the album, but in a good way. This song relies almost entirely on the vocals of the four band members working in harmony for the majority of the song, with instrumentals only coming in later in the single.

This song managed to engrain itself in my mind more than any of the other radio-bait songs, playing over and over in my mind and on my Spotify without ever being annoying.

The song acts both as a call-back and a goodbye to the group’s early days of covering popular songs in acapella form on their YouTube channel. It is the only song that is not performed in the radio friendly song style that the other singles aim for.

 Let the Road is a unique song among the album’s more predictable and safe approaches to music. That is not to say that the album is boring or bad, as I said before I actually quite liked most of the songs on this album but they can feel a little same-y.

Real stand-outs on the album include the songs Appreciated, Beautiful Excuses, and Hotel Ceiling which all forgo the over use of the in genuine sound of the other songs beats. The vocals flow much better in the song when the accompanying sounds come from the guitar and piano work rather the other band members and not from some computer generated sound.

The band shows a lot of promise and creativity with the songs mentioned before, but a good portion of their other songs sound a little too similar for existing pieces to call them entirely artistically original, even though they are often “better” than the majority of what is currently playing on the radio.

All in all this album is a fun, if short, listen with easy to like vocals and rhythms that you will end up humming, whether you like it or not. To be blunt, the album has its ups and downs, but the highs are pretty high and the lows don’t manage to fall low enough to sour the experience.

Let the Road is a commendable and catchy first album for Rixton, proving that not only are they much more than a one-hit-wonder, but that they definitely will have a good number of radio hits for us all to hum along to.