The Londoners describe their sound as incorporating The Who, late 60’s West Coast psychedelia, late 70’s punk and mid 90’s Britpop. That’s general enough in itself but there are definite strong influences on this garage rock outfit. Take a hint of the Libertines, a dash of The Strokes and a snifter of the New York Dolls and you’re some way toward discovering their sound. Not a bad mix and they wear it well.
Trashing guitars, Dynamic percussion and rasping vocals all contribute to the latter day punk sensibility of this debut effort. It’s a brief encounter but they get their style across well in a raft of songs that weigh under the four minute mark as all good pop tunes ought to. Nik Down’s spits out his lyrics and has a delivery and urgency that Julian Casablancas used to manage back in the day.
All comparisons aside this is first and foremost that rarest of things, a damn fine record. First track ‘City of Angels’ hurtles along in a paean to buying green in Compton, It’s a strong opener. The California theme continues with the Excellent ‘Holly Would’, 2 minutes and 32 seconds of balls to the wall rocking out. Things slow down a bit with ‘No Saviour’, it builds and glides with shimmering guitars and is reminiscent of U2 pre jumping the shark, so far so anthemic. ‘So sexy’ is all dirty guitars and comes off as a freewheeling slice of late seventies guitar goodness. And before you know it things close off with decidedly pleasant ‘The Shakedown’.
I really enjoyed this debut from the London based four piece. It’s a jaunty affair that is a straight up enjoyment of all things guitar. It manages to sound fresh without drifting into the play by numbers mediocrity all too prescient with so many rocking wannabe hipsters these days. All I can say is that The HaywireEP is definitely worth a listen.