North East Post
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
1:06 AM 3rd February 2024

Albums: The Reytons – Ballad Of A Bystander

The Reytons – Ballad Of A Bystander

Adrenaline; World’s Greatest Actor; Market Street; Let Me Breathe; Not Today Mate; Minus One; Seven In Search of Ten; Listen; What She Won’t Do; Nineteen Crimes; 2006; Knees Up.

Catalogue Number:Reyt002CDSTAN

The last big indie/pop band to break through to a mainstream audience was Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys, nearly twenty years ago. Since that time, it has been a barren period for groups in this genre. Thankfully, things seem to have turned around with the arrival of another south Yorkshire band, the Reytons.

With no support from a major record company and apparently no huge budget to support their ascendancy, the band toured solidly and played gigs across the country, in the process building up a robust fan base. The Reytons sold out the 12,000-capacity Sheffield Arena for a homecoming gig last autumn.

While still owing a huge debt to Arctic Monkeys, things have not changed that much overall with this new album coming, as it does hot on the heels of their last album released a year ago. The lyrics to most of their songs are still observational and regional—where else would you hear a band mentioning Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre? The music, however, shows little progression from before, although the opening number, Adrenaline, does come with a moody and atmospheric vibe before shooting off into a tangent.

The single Market Street has a huge chorus that seems to be the perfect soundtrack for being down in the mosh pit at one of their gigs. Not Today Mate appears to be an ode to their hometown of Rotherham: “Welcome to the town where everyone’s looking down; don’t let your feet step out of bounds,” proclaims singer Jonny Yerrell.

Aptly, the band delivered the penultimate track in 2006, the year that Arctic Monkeys became a success. “Let’s take it back in time; I’m talking that Leadmill vibe” on a song where The Reytons reminisce about their early days visiting the iconic Sheffield venue.

There is no doubt that The Reytons fans will adore their third album, though the casual listener might find that the songs contained here are as submissive as the album title suggests.