Band – Atwood
EP – London Gentleman
Label – Pep-rock Records
Release date – out now.
Sounds like – remember that summer when eveything was just perfect? This would probably soundtrack it.Ã‚Â
Atwood are a six-piece (possibly no connection to feminist and bonkers writer*, Margaret Atwood) made up of what seems like 3 pairs of brothers. Bloody hell- itâ€™s like the UK version of Hanson; only bigger, younger and more fresh-faced, if thatâ€™s possible. Due to the fact my ears have just suffered a severe pummelling at the hands of 2 of the noisiest bands Iâ€™ve ever heard, whoâ€™s music is in another dimension compared to Atwoodâ€™s; itâ€™s nice to actually listen to something with a decent tune and a huge paving slab slice of melody.
Normally this sort of thing makes me turn my nose up in disgust and continue listening to Ampere or something of that ilk, but every now-and-then I canâ€™t seem to deny my pop-punk roots. Heck, after the Manics, it was the next thing I got into, music-wise, so itâ€™s natural that Iâ€™d have a soft spot for it. During my first initial listen of ‘London Gentlemanâ€™ Iâ€™d let out a massive snort, and wrote it off immediately, eager to put pen to paper and damn it to hell; but after repeated listens I felt the bile that had risen in my throat slowly sink, only to be replaced with calming sedatives and a feeling of â€œyeah, things arenâ€™t all that bad really.â€Â
Birminghamâ€™s Atwood seem to know the score. Itâ€™s like theyâ€™ve hacked into a mainframe that contains all the information needed to write genuinely catchy and heartfelt songs, without a trace of smugness or faux-emotion and adapted the formula for their own means. For example, the track ‘Camerasâ€™ contains the kind of ‘woahoooaahahooâ€™ chorus that reminds me of the golden days when pop-punk was at its very peak. Itâ€™s unashamedly cheesy, but ultimately inoffensive and a solid sounding track that actually injects a positive vibe within the listener. Hey, this band sounds happy? What the hell? Whereâ€™s the cynicism?Ã‚Â Whereâ€™s the pining for a love once lost? Whereâ€™s the hatred? Not here. Title track ‘London Gentlemanâ€™ sounds like a lighter version of Pulley, jamming with Amber Pacific, complete with the inevitable gang-vocal chant and yet another increasingly infectious chorus. At this rate, Iâ€™m going to need a jab after listening to this record.
‘Lippyâ€™ has that cocky swagger you associate with American jock teens on any number of gratuitous teen-comedies that flood the move-market and could quite easily slot into the soundtrack of any American Pie-dross,Ã‚Â like a sniper bullet passing through the brain of some n00b Iâ€™ve just pwned on Team Fortress 2. You want to hate them. They sound far too fucking chirpy and optimistic about the world. â€œWhere do we go from here?â€Â Vocalist Matt Street sings â€â€œ maybe to the door that says ‘This is Reality?â€™ Anyway, I digressâ€Â¦I think this EP is rotting my brain â€â€œ itâ€™s sugary sweetness is seeping into my pours like weetabix soaking up all the rich creamy milk you poured on only seconds ago.
By the time the Melee-sounding ‘Dolphins & Giantsâ€™ swings round, Iâ€™m singing along to lyrics I havenâ€™t even got a clue about, yet seem to instantly know. Itâ€™s scary. Music shouldnâ€™t really be this memorable should it? I mean, Iâ€™ve only listened to it a few times, and already I feel itâ€™s imprinted on my brainâ€Â¦the summery vibes; the slick and uncompromising tightness of their charisma-filled tunes and the general feel good attitude. Oh god, I can feel my negativity slowly draining awayâ€Â¦..
Damn you Atwood. Youâ€™ve officially made me feel like a decent, normal person again â€â€œ but on another note, this is a promising and despite the odd clichÃƒÂ©d lyric and guitar line, itâ€™s a solid start to what will hopefully be a fruitful and bright career for this amazingly positive group of musicians.
*actually, some of her stuff is pretty good. I should know, I studied it for about a year.
By Ross MacdonaldÃ‚Â