A few years ago, before this blog developed into the site it is today, we heard and fell in love with an album by a band from Manchester. That album helped pave the way for a resurgence in a hybrid indie-dance-rock-pop sound that saw guitars, synths, electronics and beats go head to head in a battle for the ages. Our ears were buzzing with excitement and it’s a sound we’ve found ourselves coming back to time and time again in a legion of different guises. One of the latest guises comes from another Manchester band (Salford to be precise) Suzuki/Method who have dipped into the Delphician well and enlisted their producer David Tolan (as well as Jim Spencer) to work with them on this debut EP, Native.
Each of the five tracks is crackling with energy and has more hooks than a ‘Villains of Peter Pan’ convention. Drawing from the heritage of Manchester and beyond, dance fuses with pop fuses with rock fuses with funk fuses with, well you get the idea. It’s like a trip through electro pop history from Kraftwerk to Delphic via Duran Duran (and bands beginning with other letters as well). Electronics tumble and shatter while digital and analogue flourishes and accoutrements’ embellish and add depth to the drum-bass-guitar combo.
The band, comprised of brothers Adam and Glen Leishman as well as Michael Mathews, David Boyd and Ben Hounslow, came together during the Salford riots to make the EP, so it stands to reason that Native should be a powder keg of adrenalin and energy. “Sherbet” is like flying through a rainbow of sounds, it is to music what the Holi Festival is to colour; vibrant, crazy and frenetic. It’s a euphoric celebration hidden at the bottom of a bassline.
Similarly frantic is “Cruel To Be Kind”, an urgent, blood pumping song that races like the cheetah chasing down the fleeing antelope as the song is evolving. Drums outstripping bass, vocals surging past both and then an electronic mutation gives it the edge, bringing the antelope down, a phylogeny of music in just over 4 minutes shown in full HD.
The pace never abates, tracks simply hand the baton on to the next leg of this lightening quick relay. “Country Cousins”, “Strangelet” and “You Asked For The Moon And You Got It” drive along at breakneck speed, all compulsive and danceable. But the whole thing is a bit like that, a chemistry lesson of an EP, a myriad of multi-coloured sonic potions and powders are fizzing and flashing everywhere you look, making your pulse quicken with excitement.
’Native’ is out now and is available to buy here.