Spring King - Tell Me If You Like To (Island Records)

Spring King – Tell Me If You Like To (Island Records)

I’m not entirely sure why I was expecting Spring King to fail.  There’s not really any logical reason as to why they should have done.  Former singles ‘Detroit‘ and, in particular, ‘Who Are You?‘, after all, positively dripped with the rawest kind of energy.  The type you would have associated with the likes of The Stooges, no less, or Aussie stalwarts Radio Birdman.  Despite this, I had it in my head that their debut album would sound like a glorified Pigeon Detectives, or, to use a phrase coined by The Wonder Stuff‘s Miles Hunt (I think) to describe countless noughties “alternative” bands – ‘indie schmindie”.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  These songs are brash and exciting, often with the decadent swagger purveyed by Kasabian, but so much more brutal in their delivery.  Belting instantly into action with the impossibly infectious foot-stomper ‘City‘, it’s clear that these guys mean business.  And it’s a relentless set throughout, barely stopping to catch its own breath.  Something in the back of my mind is telling me, though, that there is more to this band than merely the out and out rockers that make up around 80 per cent of the record.  My hunch is that Spring King are quite an experimental bunch, and that they will only get better from here on.  I hope they go on to prove me right.  There are several glimpses of why I believe this to be the case on Tell Me If You Like To.

Who Are You?‘ is a case in point – on the face of it, this is a vibrant, exhilaratingly jubilant indie rock anthem of the highest order, but then they go and do something that none of us were expecting – towards the end of the song, they employ a saxophone.  This is not a track you would envisage a saxophone working on, but as it turns out, it helps turn it into something approaching a modern classic.

Another reason I see a bright future is ‘The Summer‘, which is kind of like an upbeat Jesus And Mary Chain if The Polyphonic Spree had joined them for the choruses.  It almost feels like a stage musical at times, joyously emotional, but saved from bijou sappiness by the exquisite production skills of the band’s formidable frontman Tarek Musa.

While you can easily level the ‘party band’ tag at Spring King (in the best way possible), another great thing about them is that these euphoric tunes conceal a lyrical darkness that just doesn’t exist in most of their contemporaries’ worlds. Even the aforementioned explosive opener begins with the rather ominous “If only I could cry just for one minute/I’d be gone in the depth of time.”  It just remains to be seen whether they can effectively follow such an impressive debut.  There is enough evidence here to suggest they can be as big as they want to be.

Tell Me If You Like To is released on June 10th through Island Records.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.