The Districts - 'Popular Manipulations'

8/10

It seems that things have been getting better and better for The Districts over the last few years. Despite a humble beginning, the band have quickly turned around and generated a devoted and excitable cult fanbase who have taken in their previous albums 'Telephone' and 'A Flourish And A Spoil' as the rare hallmarks that they are. Now the band are back with album number three, 'Popular Manipulations', and it looks like their unblemished reputation could be growing still.

While the bands previous efforts saw them as a more conventional alt-rock outfit, this new full-length blows open the possibilities of their sound as they embark on a whole range of new and interesting ideas. Tracks like 'Violet' have this overwhelming drive behind them, while 'Ordinary Day' sees them morph into an almost power ballad-like direction. It aims to squeeze as much into it as possible, but yet rarely feels cluttered and somehow creates a sense of cohesion between the songs.

I guess you can thank the band's succinct sound to frontman Rob Grote, whose soaring voice is the real standout constant on this release. No matter what they try, he always gives it the necessary gravitas it needs to bring it from an average record to a wonderful one.

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