Having received some radio play already thanks to Radio 1 and XFM, Manchester four-piece The 1975 offer up an interesting proposition with this, the band’s first EP. Sitting somewhere between the bleak art rock of Joy Division and the indie-pop that might well find its way onto the playlists of mainstream radio, The 1975 have managed an inconsistent if beguiling listen in ‘Facedown’.
The beautiful shimmer of guitars in the opening title track has echoes of the wintry feel of Sigur Ros, its synth-heavy harmonics coming in stark contrast to the pop march of lead single ‘The City’. Here, the drums take precedence in a slightly cliched tale of urban loneliness, with lyrics like “If you wanna find love then you know where the city is” being pleasantly bathed in a sea of light electronica that sadly fails to find second gear.
Fortunately, that task is taken up by the splendid ‘Antichrist’ which steals the show by a mile. A complete turnaround again in tone, there is, for the first time amongst the EP’s four tracks, a genuine sense of urgency and direction here, despite the fact that the band are clearly aping contemporaries like the Editors and New Order in their delivery.
The reverb of guitars on closer ‘Woman’ is a quiet stripped-back affair, reminiscent of Jeff Buckley’s best efforts on ‘Grace’. High praise indeed for a band still very much in its infancy, this subtle lullaby of sorts is a pleasantly downbeat end to the EP, highlighting the promise from a band who have yet to settle on their sound. Vocally it times, it fringes dangerously close to the emo-sound from the early to mid 2000s, but overall this is an effort worth celebrating.
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