The last time the UK had the privilege of sinking their teeth into a game-changing, tantalisingly gritty debut record was in 2007, when Jamie T delivered, Panic Prevention. Eight years on and we’re delighted to rub our bleary eyes and smell the coffee: the hiatus is over. Our saviour? West-London’s resident rascal Only Real (AKA Niall Galvin) and his first step to inevitably scorching his name across British music history books: Jerk At The End Of The Line.
With previously-released, championed singles: “Cadillac Girl” and ‘”Yesterdays” rightfully earning their place on Jerk At The End Of The Line; the debut studio album from the lad, lustfully carving lethargic summer anthems into our hearts, follows a spellbinding formula. “Blood Carpet” and “Daisychained” follow the same minimalistic patterns as “Pass The Pain” and 2013’s “Get It On”, cementing the distinctive Only Real sound.
“When This Begins” and the sleazy “Cinnamon Toast” manage to create a previously unveiled atmosphere of stormy passion and heightened emotion. With the latter being one of the most innovative tracks to reside upon Jerk At The End Of The Line, and also sees Only Real’s vocal resembling a stream-of-consciousness slur, it could be said “Cinnamon Toast” is the stand-out track, prepared and poised to seriously mark Only Real’s place on the map.
Where themes are concerned: heartache, complaint and nostalgia all have a hand to play. ‘Break It Off’ sees the singer pensively stating: “I thought that/ it would be me/ to break it off/ well look at me now”, while on “Can’t Get Happy”, he admits he stays “asleep to stop the worst”. To say Jerk At The End Of The Line is a euphoric explosion of sunshine is far from realistic: but, with its perfect combination of moody guitar riffs and lazy surf tones, would we want it any other way?
A triumphant element Only Real harbours on Jerk At The End Of The Line is his ability to create fantastic juxtapositions. The ode to dream-pop, “Jerk” is complimented by the notoriously dark “Petals”, closely followed by the bright-and-light, “Backseat Kissers”. Although varyingly similar, no track is the same, making Jerk At The End Of The Line a seminal success.
Only Real’s Jerk At The End Of The Line is available now.