Getting recommendations is a double-edged sword. For every fantastic new unsung and unsigned band there’s a hundred who would give Keane a run for their money in the 3:15 from Mediocrity Racecourse, Tedioustown. And what do you say to a friend who’s given you a hot tip, only to find out they make you want to tear your ears off, and theirs too, for suggesting such unwashed tripe?
Thankfully, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been introduced to some supremely good bands. Two of them are so good they make my eyes water at the thought that they aren’t household names yet, and the third are a great example of how to get your name out to that seething mass of blogs out there.
So, to start off with, here’s Bright Spark Destroyer. Now that rock music is approaching a pensionable age, making a sound that is clearly and distinctly yours is tough1. Listen to any new band and your brain immediately goes “Ooh, that’s The Beatles mixed with Beastie Boys with a bit of Faithless thrown in”. So it is with Bright Spark Destroyer; comparisons with Radiohead, Jeff Buckley and other choirboy-voiced anthemic indie-rock bands leap into view and jump about waving their arms frantically. But another thought strikes you.
And that thought is “Fucking hell, they are good”. Then after a few more listens you think “Holy sweet mother of Jebus, they really are very, very good”. Yes, there’s more than a tinge of Radiohead, but combining their earlier The Bends/Ok Computer phase with the later “We’re Autechre! But not as good!” phase with far more grace and style than Radiohead themselves manage. The singer’s choirboy antics are mannered and measured, and never seem forced; they are pleasingly reminiscent of the long lost Andrew Montgomery’s band Geneva (and whilst they never reach these heights, there’s no harm in trying, eh?). There’s chunks of Grizzly Bear and Doves in there too; an intricacy of interweaving guitar lines and little hooks that keep you coming back for just one more listen.
The whole of their debut EP “Holy Yell” is excellent; picking out a favourite track becomes a close-your-eyes-and-throw-a-dart exercise. But for me it’s “They Already Know”. Just the other day, I was lazing around in what passes for English summer sunshine, and found myself tapping out a rhythm. After a couple of moments, I realised it was the drumbeat to this song, which had ensconced itself into my brain in true earworm style. If you, like me, like your music challenging yet tuneful, emotional without overwrought histrionics, and, in plain speaking, ace, this is a song for you.
More songs are available for a listen on the band’s website here, and the EP’s available to download. Personally, if I were you, I’d download it like a shot. This record has, in the few weeks I’ve had it, become one of my favourites of the year so far. This lot will go far. Or at least, they’d better do, or there’s truly no justice in this world.
1 Ok, making a sound that is clearly and distinctly yours and making it good at the same time is tough. It’s pretty easy to make something original and shit.