Since releasing their 2021 debut album How Beautiful Life Can Be, The Lathums have been handed gains and losses. The departure of bassist Johnny Cunliffe could have halted the momentum of a band riding the high of seeing its first album debut at #1 in the UK charts, but not only have Wigan’s likely lads been blessed with a shiny, new bassist – Matty “Bass Guitar” Murphy; that’s a really nerdy music joke – but also the spoils of variety.
How Beautiful Life Can Be was an extroverted jangle pop record, full of a happy-go-lucky Libertines worship with smudges of variety formed by sporadic folk detours. From Nothing to a Little Bit More contains more than just smudges and detours; while The Lathums hardly had nothing on their debut, their second is spookily reflective of its title.
Even as Say My Name drenches itself in the buzzy guitars of post-Britpop-post-punk-revival gloom (think Favourite Worst Nightmare era Arctic Monkeys with mightier bellows), all that surrounds is diversified. Lucky Bean dons the image of The Housemartins, fit with jangle-on-twee acoustic fun and vocals comparable to those of Paul Heaton (and an accordion). Rise and Fall breaks The Housemartins up (again!) to capture the lush balladry of The Beautiful South, with modern flare.
The lengthy Undeserving swills any aforementioned ingredients into a binary structure, rarely taking any scenic routes to burgeon as The Lathums’ take on Dylan’s Desolation Row; a folky titan for those disenfranchised by adulthood. The band will go even further back than that, to the Motown-y doo-wop that blossoms on the Please Mr. Postman-esque I Know Pt 1.
Raging through the decades, through psychedelia and classic rock, Facets beacons the colours of Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper, with a pace that bit rapider, while Struggle builds into a voluminous army beat that bleeds the same blood as any melancholic 2000s indie band influenced by David Byrne.
Variety has spiced up the already spicy life of The Lathums, happily leaping into From Nothing to a Little Bit More, a pot-luck-style assortment of unpredictable treats. Regardless of where this one places on the charts, its role taken as an action-packed indie storm is hotly attractive.