The Olympic Symphonium – ‘The City Won’t Have Time To Fight’

Review by Andrew Patterson

The ever-tasteful gentlemen who make up The Olympic Symphonium have locked themselves away and created a cozy nook for all to share. On The City Won’t Have Time To Fight, their words are clear and earnest, their melodies reassuring. Opener ‘No Bad Habits’ solicits the listener to“Try it all again/Try to comprehend/why it’s been out so far/Try to reel it in/one more time”. This theme of attempting, to making sense of what overwhelms us, to do our best despite the strange distances, to see beyond the circumstantial and live in spite of our challenges, runs deeply throughout.

On ‘History’, the melancholic trio of voices insist: “History repeating/Forget it and move on.”The idea being endurance: amidst persisting problems we must endure, must not give up hope, must not compromise ourselves. It is not so much a call to arms, rather it is a cautious reminder. The tone of this record, with it’s lulling piano and it’s steadfast banjo, is that of resolute reflection. It is reminiscent of a weathered workman who’s learnt to do things right the first time.

The medium herein is a large part of the message: these songs are played with such tempered craftsmanship and collected with such grace, that the music will endure. Lyrically, it is so concerned with time and place (and the struggle of watching each fill up), yet sonically it bares no marks of topicality or trendiness. It is pure. It is the sound of brave souls huddled away, learning to be true to themselves and calmly considering each detail along the way.