It can be really frustrating when you hear a band who you feel should be so much better than their finished sound suggests. Olympus Mons are one of these bands. At various times on this overlong album, the Londoners display the kind of edgy-yet-melodic indie which characterised Bloc Party’s debut, while elsewhere they show an ear for an indie melody which Pete Doherty would be proud of. Yet somehow it doesn’t work.
This may be due to Aaron McIntosh’s vocals. Another of the band’s influences would appear to be Canadian punk-pop stalwarts Hot Hot Heat, but even their (for want of a better word) unique frontman Steve Bays sounds like Pavarotti when compared to McIntosh. There are examples of people who are poor singers but great vocalists (Joe Strummer and Tim Armstrong are just two who spring to mind), but sadly McIntosh’s vocals detracts from the overall sound to the point where you feel the band would benefit greatly from a new frontman.
That is not to say the album is completely without its pros. On occasion, all the elements come together to produce great music. The melodies of ‘Let the First Time be the Last’ and the impressive ‘The Song of Home’ are the album’s high points, showing that critics would be unwise to completely write off the trio, but it’s their inability to sustain such moments of quality that really lets ‘Nothing’s Gonna Spoil My Day Today’ down.