This 8 piece band from Hackney, London (via Yorkshire) have quite the history. Having gone through hardships to get this far, it is surprising that they even exist! Their 12 Track Debut is released on the 9th September.
From the opener ‘We’re All Fucked Up’ you get a real feeling of what this band is about. They have great instrumentation, a brass section and female vocal harmonies that lift the songs to a different plane. Second track ‘Stillness Of An Actor’ again uses the brass section brilliantly and the lead singer seems to be singing through a megaphone. The combination is great. This track has a real theatrical ‘musical’ feel to it as well as some ‘doo wop’ elements.
‘I Like, Therefore I Am (The Google Song)’ is again a masterclass in harmonies and song writing. With the refrain of “I couldn’t see the value in you”, the track motors on and you can’t help having a grin on your face. ‘Colin Is Unwell’ is another big song with clever lyrics. It’s very Blur like. Or perhaps what Blur always really wanted to sound like? Perhaps. “Careless talk costs lives”…
‘Yes Man (No No No)’ is again another fantastic pop song in the vein of The Divine Comedy. The harmonies are at it again. Especially the female vocals. ‘Riley’s Keeping Faith’ starts off with a hilarious answerphone message that forms the bulk of the song’s content. I get a real Badly Drawn Boy influence creeping in here. Great stuff!
‘CUNext Tuesday’ is a cracker of a song. It is perhaps the most ‘different’ of the collection on offer here as it is quite avant-garde and experimental, yet it still remains melodic, while ‘Love In A Minor Key’ is just that. A brilliantly crafted love song in minor keys that is sung to perfection.
‘What We Are Fighting For’ is a slower, more measured affair with acoustic guitar throughout. Again it is beautifully sung, but once the female vocals come in the mood changes. The strings come in and lift the sound to a poignant song that may well be the standout. ‘Gravity’ is another jaunty track that yet again relies on the brass section. This culminates in the last two minutes being quite free-form and experimental and sounds like the band really enjoyed themselves!
Last track ‘Manchester’ is another slow, beautifully measured track with acoustic guitar and slide guitar accompaniment. It’s a gentle and sublime end to an often upbeat and bombastic LP.
At times it reminds one of The Feeling or Scouting for Girls in its poppiness. Yet its lyricism is stuff of The Divine Comedy or My Life Story. It’s an unapologetically optimistic LP. And it even ends with the refrain “everything will be fine.” Oh i do hope so!