Remember when Frank Turner was fun? Before being seduced by Shakespeare and Dylan, he wrote good old-fashioned songs about drinking and friendship, and that’s exactly what Rob Lynch’s debut is about – albeit slightly better and considerably more whiskey soaked.
In fact, ‘All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’ draws comparisons with drinking itself; there are the happy-go-lucky moments of positivity, moments of doubt and introspection, and bold declarations to be a better person. All that’s missing is a morning-after inspired track.
‘All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’ is filled with sing-along anthems, the kind best enjoyed with friends and beers. It’s refreshing to hear a relatable album than eschews the salvation of love for the salvation that comes from friendship and family. The album begins with ‘31/32’ which sums up the spirit of the album declaring that “tonight we forget our problems and in the morning we can work them out’, setting the tone for ‘All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’. For those who’ve seen Rob Lynch live before, tracks like ‘My Friends and I’ and the ridiculously infectious ‘Hand Grenade’ will be familiar, except they’ve been refined and polished, crossing the line from good to great songs. ‘My Friends and I’ also features a surprise guest vocal from Transit’s Joe Boyton, giving it a touch of cross-Atlantic authenticity and justifying its re-inclusion.
Despite its catchiness, ‘All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’ misses out on perfection due to some shoddy lyrics, such as the rhyming of “dance” and “romance” in ‘True Romance’ – a move last attempted by Chris De Burgh with equally awful effects and the cringe-inducing “and I got my head bruised festively, I guess that’s why it’s called Boxing Day” from ‘Stamford’. While this is partly endearing, it’s also disappointing as tracks like ‘Some Nights’ and ‘Medicine’ show an impressive song writing ability, and their stripped down nature separates Rob Lynch from other similar artists.
Overall ‘All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’ is a solid debut, offering plenty of sing-along potential and some real heartfelt moments. Despite its flaws, ‘All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’ is one of the most genuine albums released this year.
‘All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’ by Rob Lynch is out 22nd September on Xtra Mile Recordings.
Words by Jay Sullivan