South: From Here On In / From Here On Out (Club AC30) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, December 3rd, 2022  

South

From Here On In / From Here On Out

Club AC30

Apr 26, 2021 Web Exclusive
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South’s debut album assembled jigsaw pieces from different sides around guitar rock’s center until a full picture came together. This 20th anniversary reissue reminds what a promising moment in the mainstream their generation of British bands held, while From Here On Out, the new companion compilation of B-sides, rarities, and demos, fills the cracks in between.

The London trio brought Odelay-esque hairiness to the often solemn sound of their post-Britpop contemporaries. Big echoey beats lean against sweeping synth strings, modern production techniques liven up the schooled songwriting. Interstitials that were tucked away on the tail end of songs made the album’s 16 tracks feel even more sprawling. From Here On In’s length is a product of its time, back when it was common practice to cram the compact disc to capacity.

From Here On In ultimately earns its expanse, as it patiently wades through tones and textures and moods. Leading single “Paint the Silence” remains the record’s grand gesture, with a cut-and-paste cinematic sweep that earned them attention here in the U.S., and a prime opening slot on the first Music From The O.C. compilation. “Paint the Silence” still pulses with possibility as it builds upon layers of insistent drums, bright melody, and breathy optimism.

From there, the album establishes an earthier energy, as acoustic and slide guitars come to the fore and tempos dial down from “Keep Close” to “I Know What You’re Like.” “Here On In” carries a classic golden morning vibe, with its hopeful strumming and trilling organ trimmings slowly gaining into a crashing build. Though South were more associated with peers like Doves and Elbow, with whom they toured, “Run On Time” and “Save Your Sorrow” (the latter included here on From Here On Out) have hearty hooks reminiscent of Oasis in downbeat ballad mode.

The album opens even more in the second half, with the loose spiralling jam “Sight of Me,” the crisp and blissful “Live Between the Lines (Back Again),” and the thumping parting shot “All In For Nothing.” From Here On Out extends that with the drifting glimmer of “Breaking Away” and the almost Verve-like “Remind Me.” South’s debut is more of a circle than a straight line, a space to stay and linger in. (www.southfromhereonin.bandcamp.com)

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