The Sour Seeds latest EP ‘Always Never’ sees them refining their blues garage rock formula. Their promising debut EP ‘Find You First’ showed enough potential to mark them down as ones to keep an eye on. The Sour Seeds always had a hint of early The Black Keys about them, but clever use of saxophone managed to give them that distinctive identity. If ‘Find You First’ was all rough edges and jostling for attention then ‘Always Never’ is the grown up confident alter ego.

Much like The Black Keys progression to a more expansive sound, ‘Always Never’ sees The Sour Seeds add a more soulful tone with a glossy sheen. It’s more El Camino than Rubber Factory. Shake Me Down best epitomises this approach, a rousing rollicking stomp. Its musical alchemy with just the correct amount of soul, blues and garage rock all chucked into the melting pot. Darragh Cullen’s singing style has an inviting come hither feel exuding an air of having everything under control.

As bands progress from one release to another you’re looking for change and Can’t Bring Me Down’s use of ‘60s style keys gives that sense of maturity. It also has an easy familiarity that allows it to sink into your consciousness quickly. Likewise, title track Always Never is like an old friend you’ve not seen in ages and gone for a pint with. It has a long build up to yet another catchy chorus.

Only Painful Dance doesn’t rise to the same high standards as the rest of the EP. Not that Painful Dance is an offence to the ears, it just doesn’t quite have the same zest that fills the other songs. ‘Always Never’ is an assured follow up EP from a band subtly pushing their boundaries and producing quality tunes.

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