Verdict: 1.5 / 5
What Now is a South African group. Formed in 2001, the guys packed their guitars and moved to England after a stint in the local scene. Once they landed in the UK severe hardships rocked the unit and the band split but the desire to play and create something together proved too strong and the band reformed and ‘Move like a Sinner’, their debut album is the fruit of more than ten years of labour.
Not many local people will know who this band is but rest assured, they are recording and touring in the UK. It is amazing how we hardly ever hear about these local bands in other territories. So when you receive an album of theirs or by chance hear a song by them it seems bizarre that they even have an album or video when no one or very few, at the grassroots level know them. I suspect this is a uniquely South African phenomenon, if not uniquely then we surely are the place where it happens most. Bands don’t build or can’t seem to build a local following so they do the inverse of what bands usually do, they record and make video’s before they have an audience to receive their material. Or is this inverted method simply the modern way of doing things?
What does What Now sound like? They are a mix of Green Day, Foo Fighters, Coldplay and Kings of Leon if you judge by their debut album, maybe other listeners will hear other acts too? They also add electronic beats and synths into the mix, perhaps as a nod to Linkin Park? Disappointingly, their biography is about as interesting and exciting as things get. What Now’s music leaves much to be desired as it apes all these bands but never gets a proper footing. The music tries too hard, the verses and choruses are clichéd and overblown. The lyrics too, are of an amateur quality. The album is far too long and by track nine, ‘Midnight Swimmers’ the band changes gears from hard rock to pop rock. Such changes are made all the time but here it’s incongruous, as the band never sounded convincing in the first half and to then change moods in the second?
You have to admire the band’s tenacity and drive but those qualities don’t always translate into good music. Sadly ‘Move like a Sinner’ fails artistically but hopefully the band can muster a larger audience and create something better in the future in order to open up doors for other local bands.