Not only that but they played their first show as a headline slot in Prague. Yes. The Czech Republic. They've definitely got some guts taking such a risk as to let foreign ears be the first to witness their British-grown sounds and this confidence in their art shines through in their debut self-released EP 'Where People Have Been'. Released strategically to grab an audience before seeing them live, not after as usually done.
Littered with an interesting variety of sounds and creative melodies from lead-singer Ollie Weikert, it is definitely a statement of intent for this young band.
'Okay' is a straight up indie-pop track with a great hook to boot, yet still manages to carry it's own little bit of individuality through clever guitar work and some interesting harmonies. I'll overlook the key change. 'Noughts and Crosses' is a slightly more, dare I say, "groovy" effort, bound to get an audience moving. The band indulge themselves with a guitar solo nearer the end of the track but it's not unwelcome and completes the track well.
Track 3 'Eurydice' and closer 'Conversation History' seem to conjur up a britpop influence to me, which I find really intriguing, considering this is still a young band.You would not expect such a 90s-specific style to be present in a band that were barely even walking when these bands were around. This may be completely unintentional but I would love to hear more of a childhood, almost maybe subconscious, influence in bands of today. It really gives a different spin on the modern indie band.
Which leaves track 4 and title track 'Where People Have Been', which is definitely the stand out track, this time engaging in a more post rock taste at times. Still keeping that great indie-pop sheen that newer audiences will love but building and culminating in a fantastic amount of noise where the band let loose in a strong instrumental/very well produced Frusciante-esque guitar solo.
It's a strong debut from a confident band, delving in a mixture of influences and remaining unpredictable. Without seeing them live it is hard to truly decipher them. Hopefully I'll be getting down to see them at The Croft in Bristol next week (March 14th). So if you like the stream of 'Where People Have Been' below and feel like you want to buy it from their Bandcamp page or pick it up for free at a show, maybe you should join me. I'll even let you buy me a pint.