Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Paul Henry And The Lithium Terrors Impress On Debut EP ‘While You Were At Work’

Paul Henry and the Lithium Terrors may only be offering four songs on their first release, the witty and wonderful ‘While You Were at Work’, but in it are hidden some gems.  

With his melancholic outlook and tongue-in-cheek delivery, Paul Henry has set the bar on his debut EP. 

Opener ‘You Haven’t Loved Me in a While’ is a fairly unique introspection of the anger and bitterness that heartbreak can cause. Most tales of unrequited love take on the perspective of the sullen ex-lover, yet Henry decides to walk down the well-trodden yet little-explored road of bitterness and anger when it comes to the end of a relationship. “Guess I’ll fuck off, find someone who really cares!” he sneers, over a pounding and western-infused chorus of drums and acoustic guitars. It’s an interesting examination of the true turmoil of emotions that follow the breakdown of a couple’s initial spark, made even more exceptional by the fact it lasts less than one and a half minutes. 

Follow-up ‘Margarita’ is another one-minute track that starts off with a chord progression and bass line reminiscent of early The Smiths, although Henry’s continued melancholy may add to these vibes as the singer proclaims “Sun-soaked beaches with no peace of mind / Keep me grounded from the passage of time”. The tongue-in-cheek offering does see the EP finally burst into life musically as a sing-along chorus is joined by grunge-laden electric guitar chords. 

The grunge theme is one that continues on ‘Terminal Diffusion’ as muddy blues guitar chords are interlaced by four dirty guitar solos throughout the track. The nearly seven-minute rollicking is a departure from the EP’s initial salvos but is also one that hints at an artist who understands his own craft, as the lengthy track never feels bogged down by its extended playtime. 

Closer ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ is a reversion back to the jaunty acoustic ballads that started off this release. “Only love can break your heart / Try to be sure from the start” Henry proclaims, in his now trademark understated manner. Yet, whilst this may be the start for the singer on his musical journey, I’m pretty certain it’ll be one that only leads to success. 

James Ogden 

Image: ‘While You Were at Work’ Official EP Cover 

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