Album Review

Home Counties - Exactly As It Seems

A strong and audacious debut.

Home Counties - Exactly As It Seems

It’s a bold, but respectable, move for an act to change up their sound and embark on a sonic u-turn. It’s even more bold for an outfit to go out on a limb and switch things up before they’ve even released an album. Former scuzz-merchants Home Counties, however, began this step with a synth-charged post-pandemic 180, and now they’ve admirably followed through on debut LP ‘Exactly As It Seems’. Setting the pace for what’s to come, ’Uptight’ shows off the new(ish) direction of the outfit, as the band swiftly delve into more tech-house territory. A rave-filled, late night groover pitched somewhere between Primal Scream and Confidence Man, it’s the kind of appealing banger that’d be at home in both indie-sleaze club nights and on WKD-drenched dance floors. ‘Bethnal Green’, meanwhile, is gloriously bonkers, and sees the group commentate on the gentrification of its namesake locale via another heady, bass-laden skittish ripper - as if Snapped Ankles were swallowed into a Super Nintendo to start a rave band with Bowser.

It’s not all ravey vibes though: Home Counties bring the dynamism too, delving into funky art-pop across both the aptly titled ‘Funk U Up’ and groove-heady ‘Dividing Lines’, while ‘Wild Guess’ crosses the boundaries of dreamy indie and soul, with a touch of bossa nova, before erupting into the realms of drum’n’bass. Looking deeper though, ‘Exactly As It Seems’ isn’t all change for the sextet; Home Counties still explore the myriad of despairs of modern day British living for many, making it much more profound than another synth-heavy late night party album. A strong and audacious debut.

Tags: Home Counties, Reviews, Album Reviews

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