The Record Company branch out on Play Loud with mixed results

Bluesy Californians’ The Record Company try to broaden their appeal on third album Play Loud

The Record Company: Play Loud cover art
(Image: © Concord)

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On their first two albums, Los Angeles trio The Record Company successfully built a sound around earthy, bluesy rock. Now, they clearly feel the need to branch out. 

This more diverse third album both benefits and suffers from the input of chart songwriters for hire, with radio-friendly hooks offset by a rock’n’soul sound a little too slick to suit them on the INXS-like Never Leave You

They fare better crunching the slide-guitar gravel on Gotta Be Movin’ and Awake, while Paradise is an impressive power ballad. 

Elsewhere, the anthemic feel of Live As One and Midnight Moon seem tailormade for festival singalongs, offering immediacy even if at times it’s at the expense of some of their old down-home grunt.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock