Splashh - Comfort

There’s an irresistible spontaneity to ‘Comfort’ that makes it hard to dislike.

Label: Luv Luv Luv

Rating: 7

Déjà vu is a weird old quirk of human memory, and so is déjà entendu – the strong, unshakable sensation of having heard something before. Splashh are a band that provide it in droves; ‘Comfort’ is a debut steeped in a vague, hazy familiarity, hurled together into one great big wonderful pastiche. It feels like music that has graced dusty record players, and the buzzing radio of a beat-up Mustang screaming down a dusty boulevard. It sounds like a worn cassette playing out of a smoky room, walls plastered with peeling, yellowed posters of rock legends. ‘Comfort’ sounds like an awful lot of things. What it doesn’t sound like is a cheap imitation.

‘All I Wanna Do’ shows Sasha Carlson’s vocals at their most potent, as drawls of ‘sweet cherry/extraordinary’ combust into soaring yelps. All the while tinny riffing backs it up, seeming to coolly ooze nonchalance. ‘Strange Fruit’ meanders along kicking pebbles and scuffing plimsolls along gravel pavement, whilst ‘Lemonade’ has the same delicious sense of laziness, as if it was written perfectly in one take, no hassle, no fuss. There’s an irresistible spontaneity to ‘Comfort’ that makes it hard to dislike.

It’s a short and sweet affair, clocking in at just over half an hour, but Splashh don’t need any longer than that to make their stamp. The term ‘slacker’ might usually be an over-used genre cliche, but in the case of ‘Comfort’, it applies exactly. This isn’t showboating, attention-grabbing music, pandering to the masses. If anything, it feels ‘Comfort’s mentality couldn’t care less about what people think. It’s having too much fun for that.

Splashh are not trying to assemble a showy encyclopedia of obscure influences and patronisingly lead the listener down memory lane - and to dissect this record on that basis does them a massive disservice. The nostalgia of ‘Comfort’ is inescapable, but not central. That keen, wide-eyed absorption is simply what comes from four excitable twenty-somethings making huge ripples together in Hackney. The actual magic of this record owes far more to the present than anything else.