Only Real AKA Niall Galvin used to make music on a battered laptop in the West London suburbs and, like many bedroom aesthetes, he worked with what he had, producing functional yet appealing songs that he's affectionately unafraid to have described as "Ramshackle". To an extent, riding the tails of Rizzle Kicks' Year 11 brat-rap, the contents of Galvin's début EP 'Days In The City' was just as pop, but in a looser, less calculated way than the Brighton duo. Now signed to Virgin, 'Jerk At The End Of The Line' was part recorded in far off Atlanta and was helmed by the sometime Hot Chip, Sia and Franz Ferdinand big-hitting collaborator Dan Carey, along with some game changing lessons Galvin ruefully admitted in a recent interview on "Real drum machines".
Any expectations you may have had about this professional company spoiling the rampant adolescent streak in Galvin's nature are gleefully despatched about ten seconds into opener 'Intro (Twist It Up)', on which his voice is morphed into a ridiculous helium sounding parody. That he feels confident enough to ridicule himself before we've even started plays much to an ambience that's straightforward but never far from the money in terms of big choruses: all these songs want to be in reality is loved, scolded or forgiven.
Fans from the beginning will be pleased to know that despite all of the expensive knob twiddling, songs like 'Yesterdays' and 'Pass The Pain' still employ a guitar line rooted in sky scraping reverb and some basic beats, alongside a vocal delivery somewhere between rapping and reading the ingredients of a pot noodle after a heavy night. This naivety is in fact the "realness" of Galvin's adopted moniker: in true punk style you feel that 95% of people on the street could come up with something as rudimentary as 'Backseat Kissers', given a couple of days training.
Continue reading: Only Real - Jerk At The End Of Line Album Review