Where Leeds was once a bastion for a more alternative North, recent years have seen the festival diversify to such an extent that it now feels like a very different event from that of a few years ago. This isn't to the festivals detriment of course, times and tastes change and companies (such as Festival Republic) have to adapt.
Monday, 26 September 2016
From its opening imposing walls of noise, the latest single from Leeds shoegazers Colour of Spring, is both bold, and much like its namesake, staggeringly pretty. Coming off the back of the band’s previous single Pillow, Snow feels weightier, more reserved, possessing a brooding quality that’s much more introspective than previous cuts appeared; the towering guitars falling away throughout the verses, replaced instead by a shimmering, melancholic vocal delivery that in turn offsets the track’s inherent weight.
Reissuing old material can go one of two ways. It can introduce a band’s material to a new generation, while shedding light on rarities and demo tracks. It can also mean long time fans and collectors shelling once again for the songs they’ve heard a hundred times before, albeit this time with worse production, or even better yet, unfinished; just ask any Nirvana or Beatles fan.
An amalgamation of rough-edged indie, anxiety-fuelled emo and light country guitars, Pinegrove’s debut album ‘Cardinal’ is a record that feels both insular and big-thinking. The prevailing themes of language, memory and home - grandiose topics by their nature - are tackled with an easy-going maturity, making them accessible while belying the band’s relatively young years.
Sheffield two-piece Slow Club have come a long way since their 2009 debut, ‘Yeah So’. Comprised of 12 tracks of sweet indie-pop, it was an aesthetic that earned the band deserved early praise. But it would have ultimately worn thin, had the duo not built and expanded upon it every record since.
Though a permanent presence on the UK DIY scene for the last three years, new material has been a long time coming for London-based three-piece Doe. Having proved themselves as a band with promise thanks to a quartet of well-received EPs, all of which ticked the right boxes on release yet felt a little well-trodden by the time they were compiled as 'First Four' back in 2014, there's a fair amount of expectation surrounding their first album proper.
Raw, honest and heartfelt, there's a sense of vigour and vitality that flows through the latest LP from Philadelphia's Beach Slang that transcends your everyday punk record. Much more than an ode to misspent youth, 'A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings' is an ode to a youth spent on the brink of giving up, yet managing against all odds to keep a grip, finding the strength to do so through only the kind of belligerent determination youth can muster.
This review was orignally written for Clash Magazine. Click here to read in full.