Saturday, 31 August 2013

The 1975 - The 1975

The 1975 are the kind of indie story as old as the genre itself. Spend a few years on the egde, holding back your best material and then release it all in one to create almost overnight success. This formula has yielded Bastille and Alt-J in the last year alone, but for Drive Like I Do, Talkhouse etc etc, the 1975’s past has been slightly more littered.
Every time the buzz built, they went away again. This, their final form made up of some big singles and a long lasting partnership with Dirty Hit Records (Ben Francis Leftwich, Little Comets) has proven to be the one that stuck.

Four EPs down the line (the fourth of which wasn’t in ‘the plan’) and two top 40 singles under their wing, the 1975 have finally got round to making a record. Starting with their trademark atmospheric-electro sound, so trademark in fact that it shares their name, it gives way to debut single The City . It pulses with power as mission statement before becoming the chilled out pop sound of M.O.N.E.Y. Echoing with the kind of sound that features across many of Bastille’s album tracks before breaking out into Chocolate, its easy to see how the 1975 have created success. Chocolate’s still as infectious as it was when Huw Stephens first caught wind of it on Radio One and yet it’s still not the biggest track on the record. That accolade’s left for their recently re-recorded single Sex.
Old time ’75 fans will have seen this develop from noisy bedroom recordings to the highly produced monster it is now. As with much of the record, it’s in danger of being too shiny, but it’s hard to deny how catchy the “She’s got a boyfriend anyway” is.

After this, its onto the easily forgettable Talk! and yet another 1975-mosphere minute before indie’s answer to the Drive Soundtrack, Heart Out opens the second half of the record. It’s begging for a remix driven by the bassline and chorus but as a standalone track, it just about works as counter-culture-pop. The same can be said for the offbeat Settle Down in which you can practically see the teenagers on eachother’s shoulders during the chorus. 
Robbers proves to be the surprise of the record. Another track taken from the Matt Healy history vaults, the quality of his vocals resembles that of KIGH’s Aled Phillips (and that’s a compliment).
From here sadly, its relatively predictable. By putting 16 tracks on their debut effort, the 1975 have put themselves in danger of creating too many tracks that should have been B-sides. If left at a 10/11 track, this could have been one of the standouts of the year, but left to trail off in the way that this does, all those years of preparation has been let down by a lack of leaving some of their children to die, the 1975 have let some of their great ones down.


Braden Fletcher

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