Olympians – Lake Mannion (2019)

Some bands get big, break up, then grudgingly reform for the moneys. Some spend an eternity trying too hard to get people to their gigs instead of writing good songs and become quantity surveyors when reality hits them in the face. Some bands get it just right with one EP and then lose the plot with the next, alienating their fans and themselves in the process.

Olympians have done none of this, but over the last eight years have vindictively crafted a sound that gives the impression they have done all of it. At the same time. And they’re quite open about how shit they think you think they think they are. And they’ve released another new album, much against their own advice, probably.

Lake Mannion picks up where previous offerings left off, containing as it does all the things that make Olympians Olympians, but this album has been moulded by more mature, supple hands (hey, that’s ageing for you). It takes a special kind of talent to blend absurdist wit with ennui both lyrically and sonically, but these guys have made it an art form, and Lake Mannion is as splendid a showcase of it as anything that has come before.

It’s a procession of glorious pop, effortlessly firing out math tropes as it flounces around the parade ground that you need to imagine for this metaphor to make sense. Add to this the fact that vocals can switch between choirboy sweet*, shouty vicar angry* and football crowd raucous* seamlessly in a single song, and you have a seductive contradiction in content and delivery. If you’re someone who enjoys paddling in the lighter, whimsical end of the FB spectrum, grab your armbands and tiptoe in.

*all of which are also paint colours

File Under

Weepy pop nosh

Sounds A Tad Like

Chet (remember them? No, probably not), Feed Me Jack, Tall Ships on a witty day

Standout Tracks

Best Laid Plans, We’re Going to Need a Bigger Bin


£7 here


London via Norwich