This is a review of "Experiments in Living" recorded by four day Hombre. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2006.
Since 1999, four day Hombre have been known and respected amongst the Leeds scene as hard working, hard harmonising and perhaps a bit hard done by. Effectively 7 years in the making, this debut album is a culmination of all the lessons learnt along the way. When playing to one man and his dog in the middle of nowhere you learn a lot about entertaining an audience, you learn the pain and joy of having your songs loved and loathed and you know when to appreciate the good times. Having been financially backed by their fans no less, if they are feeling it, four day Hombre show no signs of the pressure getting to them in having to deliver an album worth waiting for. Opening with new single “The First Word is the Hardest” the band set the tone early with a brooding epic that knows all the right times to step on one more pedal and introduce yet another guitar. The cynical may point to a certain pattern emerging: start with breathy vocals, gradually introduce other instruments in disparate fashion, before tying them together in a sonic boom of melody just after the middle eight. However when your recipe tastes this good there’s no need to keep adding more salt or sugar, besides the varied presentation speaks volumes. Lazy comparisons to the likes of Coldplay will be inevitable but the truth is four day Hombre own a lot of records by The Frames and boy it shows. Add this to the fact that they even share the same producer and the major similarities become understandable. Experiments in Living is a song-writing master class. The band flexes their well toned muscles in composition and arrangement on every tune. “Don’t Go Gently” is pure pop poetry, while former single “Mr M” is still as pleasing on the ear with its hammered out guitar crescendo. Only recent single “1000 Bulbs” slips into slightly comfy territory, but the real moments to savour come when the band cranks up the atmosphere such as on the wondrous “Thirteenth of the Month”. “The Boy with the Mended Heart” may borrow heavily from David Gray’s Babylon but it has more soul in its little finger than anything Gray achieved. This is indeed an album worth waiting for and it will please the investing fans no end.