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The K’s – I Wonder If The World Knows (LAB Records)

I first happened upon Earlestowns’ The K’s way back in 2018, when they were playing an all-dayer in Manchester, and I was struck at the difference between them and all of the other new bands I saw, they packed out a big venue, even had their own crew, (at that point they were only one single (the fantastic ‘Sarajevo’, streamed more than 6 million times on Spotify) into their career), they just seemed like a band who were ready for the big time.

And then…not a lot. For ages. They seemed to be just be playing bigger and bigger venues without actually releasing anything, apart from a handful of singles, (most of which haven’t made the cut to be on the album) so care has obviously been taken on curating their debut which has finally now arrived.

It starts not, as you would expect, with guitars flying out of the blocks, but with an orchestral overture which you can hear working perfectly as an introductory piece of music for when the band take to the stage when they play live, before ‘Icarus’ threatens to erupt into their customary guitar/big chorus sound, but here it remains a touch subtler, with orchestral hints abound, making it a perfect opener.

Heart On My Sleeve’ and single ‘Chancer’ contain more of the traditional sound that we’ve become accustomed too from them, with singer James Boyle’s trademark vocals singing intelligently written mini stories, which they themselves describe as a diary of the last few years, this attention to lyrical detail is what sets The K’s apart from the multitude of similar sounding bands that have followed them in the last few years.

Throw It All Away’ takes things much darker lyrically whilst maintaining the catchy chorus levels, but sticking to a formula, however catchy, makes you start to wonder whether the record is a bit route one, however enjoyable, and whether they’ve found their sound and they’re gonna stick to it.

‘Lights Go Down’ and ‘Hoping Maybe’ help to quash these thoughts, being a bit more subtle than the constant fast pace that’s gone before, mellow ballads that takes things up a maturity level or two, reminiscent of a ‘Going For Gold’ or ‘Chasing Rainbows’, adding a bit more variety to the record.

They’ve obviously spent the last few years deciding what they want to sound like and honing this, there’s no doubt that the likes of ‘Landmines’ and ‘No Place Like Home’ are set to sound huge on their sold-out April tour ahead of an extensive run of festivals in the summer, including a main-stage slot at Reading and Leeds.

And although it’s possible that there may be a little less variety than there could be, isn’t that what debuts are for, to help a band find it’s feet, and it’s obvious that when they do change it up, especially on closer ‘Variety One’, which sees the orchestra comeback, it’s clear there’s plenty of potential here.

Hopefully it won’t be such a long wait for the next one.

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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.