Bragging and promoting the line of being purely independent is not a personality. For The Reytons, it is. As impressive and stunning as their lightning-in-a-bottle rise to somewhere near the top has been, it could not have happened to a band more in step with the problematic indie scene. Their latest track, Let Me Breathe, fits the bill of The Reytons so far. No surprises here, nor on their previous album efforts. Very much in line with those who still wish Arctic Monkeys were making music from AM ten years later, fans of The Reytons will enjoy this as much as they enjoy drinking paint or stuffing tinfoil up their nose. As bland and placating as can be for a band whose miserable surge through the indie scene is almost entirely dependent on the plain toast variety of music-making. Let Me Breathe does much the same, and suffocates those who clamour for a second of flavourful music.
Churned out like milky butter but made a bit quicker, The Reytons steam ahead to album number three. Let Me Breathe is their flagship, their solar flare into the ravenous public and a reminder of what is to come. If this is it, then prayer may be necessary. Both the worst part of modern-day Noel Gallagher and the lazy aftershock of discovering distortion, Let Me Breathe is as empty as it is mired by its electronic fuzz. Loud and boisterous but without much to back it up. Sounds a bit like The Reytons for sure. Completely disconnected from the scene itself but powering through as though being inspired by Suck it and See and being from Sheffield is enough to guarantee a spot on the ladder. Another sexless song about sex from 40-somethings cosplaying as the people they see themselves as in the mirror.
No instrument should make the whining clang and ping which bridges the gap between empty chorus and vacuous verse. It is best when the maraca begins to subtly, slowly shuffle underneath, barely heard because nothing else plays on. Repetitive in the worst way possible, the verses and structure lend themselves to the often used “you can’t keep doing what you’re doing to me”, which is ground into a pulp by the end of a first listen. Empty in a way that gauges those who listen to music passively. All you need is something to play a bit louder on your Spotify TV app as you search for more cans before a big night out at Dog and Parrot.
The decades-displaced Arctic Monkeys return with their “art galleries stuffed full of working-class posers” theme, just look at that singles cover. Let Me Breathe offers no option to those who may be on the fence about The Reytons. As bland as it gets, if The Reytons had stomped on something, anything of interest, it would be a shock to the system. Instead, their play-by-the-numbers, safety first and mid-2000s attitude continues on, not yet souring for those who wish to feel a remnant of nostalgia for when they were six years old. Time will be called on The Reytons before they do anything of memorable artistic vigour at this rate, and it is entirely of their own making when tracks like Let Me Breathe are the best they’ve got.