Home Town: Manchester
Contemporary British indie tends to come in for a bit of a battering. The critics lay plenty of charges at the landfill’s door, but there’s one jibe that rings true to even the most staunch defender’s ear: young bands simply aren’t writing big pop tunes. The 1975 certainly can’t be accused of staring at their shoes, hiding behind abstraction, or burying their melodies under a wall of distortion. They write big melodious teenage pop songs with plenty of heart, and a focus on melody and sharp arrangements.
That’s not to say they play entirely by convention. First off, The 1975 are from Manchester but Matt Healy sings like an American post-hardcore romantic (it’s not just a Welsh phenomenon), occasionally dropping into a distinctly London drawl. The arrangements do shimmer, “The City” is remarkably slick but it’s builds from a distinctly minimal fuzzed out bass line. The effect is remarkably similar to that of early-Razorlight, it sounds authentic enough to make indie hearts flutter but big enough to snag the pop crowd. However, The 1975 tend to counterpoint each pop song with a mood piece. “Anitchrist” and “Facedown” manage to simultaneously recall post-Joy Division acolytes The Editors and White Lies, and American arena heavyweights Thirty Seconds To Mars.
Listening to surefire hit “Sex”, The 1975 oddly recall Ash, not sonically, but in the way that they take an distinctly American rock approach and distill it into a British indie product. The big single yelps and yearns, doing all the things that typical get young girls reaching for the sky screaming. Whether indie needs another mid-tempo, big emotion band remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: The 1975 are custom built for success – and how often do we get to say that about an indie band these days?
The Buzz: Big emotional indie that plays to the back row, with occasional bursts of textural moodiness.
For Fans Of: Kids In Glass Houses, Editors, and Bloc Party.