The Open's debut record was an occasionally excellent record but failed Under the weight of expectation as they boasted of Talk Talk, Cocteau Twins and Echo And The Bunnymen as their primary influences. It would have to be some record to match the promise of this bold announcement and sure enough 'The Silent Hours' ended up being no way near as good as any of these bands and any slight similarites between them had been carried out by far more understated outfits before them.
Refreshingly, on their second outing, The Open have attempted to refine their style and made it more individual. They still baffle thanks to a tendency to switch between windswept rock ('We Can Never Say Goodbye', 'My House' and 'Seasons Of The Change' can only be there for fans of the first album) and studied piano-led numbers ('Forever', 'Moment In Time') that aren't so very far away from those Talk Talk influences after all. Elsewhere they proffer a likeable slice of psychdelic pop on 'She's Mystery' and guitarist Jon Winter unleashes his finest guitar work on the edgy but beautifully chiming 'Fallen Tree'. Overall, it's a curate's egg of a record which finds The Open still caught between two conflicting identities but 'Statues' is most definitely an improvement for the band.