A few weeks ago, I was in a pub chatting about music with a friend of mine and we were discussing how there don’t seem to be any bands coming through that have good songs, a good following and have the chance at long careers. Who are the next Oasis? The next Coldplay? Radiohead? Arctic Monkeys? Muse?
Television talent shows seem to concentrate on solo artists or vocal groups (and your average guitar band don’t want to be associated with X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent) so maybe finding a way to nudge into the mainstream – without the help of a Top of the Pops-style show to showcase these bands to the masses – is difficult for bands.
So when a cd dropped into my lap with the description of a band made up of a cocktail of Oasis, Kasabian and The Jam, my ears pricked up.
This Newcastle four piece show signs of Oasis and Kasabian (particularly on opening track ‘Unpredictable’ which, in short, if you like Kasabian, you’ll like this) but the band that comes to mind more is 90’s Liverpool band The Lightning Seeds, the mood of the songs and vocal comparisons are easy to make, so we’re looking at indie-pop rather than indie-rock.
The band have an ear for hooks and can certainly construct good songs, even venturing into reggae and a duet, which is a rarity in this style of music (perhaps this is the Jam/Style Council reference?) and the duet works, it’s a nice change of mood and shows what this band can turn their hands to.
The album can be summed up in four words; ‘good songs, bad production’, the bass is very low in the mix on all songs (even the reggae song, which, given the genre, should be bass-driven), the overall volume of the album is low except track seven that sits louder than the others leading you to reach for the volume control and the whole thing lacks fire. A bit more grunt from the guitar and you’ve got a decent album from a band who are obviously thinking further ahead than most indie bands.
BUT saying that, it’s possible the album I was given was the unfinalized mix, the album isn’t due for release until December 21st– more than four weeks away. More than enough time to make great what is already good.