So, the difficult second album!
Always a curse right – how’d you follow up on a genre defining first album? Do you rest on your laurels? Wait 5 years, miss the boat and the impact and then release another one? Or do you waste no time, get right back onto it and go again?
Well thankfully Marc has chosen the latter and is about to release the second instalment of his already legendary compilation of new Indie sounds, you know the one, the one that got in the UK Album charts just by word of mouth and a little radio support. Yeah, that one – so is the follow up any cop?
Well, if the first album was Marc’s Definitely Maybe then this is sure to be his What’s the Story Morning Glory.
WTSMG was an album that dared to go one louder, one better, one bigger than the benchmark first album – the stage was set back then, anticipation was great, could the second be as good or better than the first? Well this is exactly what Marc is attempting to do with BP2 so read on find out.
Rules of Music Number 231 – Always start an album with a Banger – hook the listener in straight away – make them drool with excitement – make them want to listen to the rest of the album.
Well, if the Spyres did this last time around then Black Dove have got big boots to follow – well thankfully they handle the pressure with aplomb. Up until recently I hadn’t even heard of the band and then during the excellent Inyourearsradio acoustic sessions I managed to hear them and thought – jeez this band sound great – a Scottish Oasis. Well here they are in their full (morning) glory – Fake I.D. could well be written about another band on this album (more of later) however whatever its influence – it’s a straight up classic Britpop track and whilst the Oasis comparisons are obvious – the band still manage to still sound fresh and now – probably because we still need Oasis now. But taking nothing away from Black Dove – this is a brilliant song, and they have plenty more of those to come.
No pausing because The Bagatelles are up next with their jangle indie pop of Romantic Resignation – another catchy AF track that deserves to be heard by more people. It’s almost a heavier track that The Lathums might write I guess and is by no means a slight on either – it’s what this album does – highlights new bands and shows the talent that is around.
The Outcharms are up – they are already getting a name as a potential next big thing – Whose Making you smile? – does just that – I love the authentic northern accent and chiming guitar riffs. Very Charming…(sorry).
Staarks are a new one to me – Another Lover – is the first of a punkier sound to BP2 – female vocals to the fore – to these old ears it’s a fresh sounding band but with echoes of Sleeper and Echobelly at their best – simply great to know this type of music is coming back again and finding a willing audience. Excellent stuff.
Whilst I could write about all 18 tracks on this album and tell you my thoughts – what would be the fun in that – you need to purchase the album and find out for yourself what you love, what you think is the best. I’m just leading the way so to speak.
What I will say this time around – is the excellent variety in music that Marc has included on this album.
Of course, it all has a Classic Indie feel with elements of Brit Pop, Punk, Rock included but I think it’s more wide reaching then that and more diverse then BP1 – always a good sign to see progression from album to album.
Tracks by The Sonder and Indie Street Club highlight a different aspect to Indie music – kind of country tinged in places – nowt wrong with that – I’ve always been a little bit country and a little bit rock n roll.
Ricky Clark for example brings his power vocals and Dr Feelgood groove with A Little bit of Love, EJ Mann equally sets a marker down for great new male vocalist award with his awesome Bloodrush track.
Michael Vickers is different altogether – kind of The Streets meets Alex Turner – its different (for me) but its smart and sassy. Dead and Buried is fresher than new baked bread.
Marc also makes sure the female of the species is well included and 3 of the best vocalists around Indie right now happen to be female – Megan Wynn with the bombastic Polaroid and Fleetwood Mac vibes, Jess from Tiger Mimic rocking out with the sublime It was still Dark and who can overlook teenager Connie Miles from the teenage superstars Revivalry with their supreme pop punk banger Shame on You. The future is so bright with talent right now I gotta wear shades.
Best band name of the moment also includes Squangey Bobbins – I’ve never heard of them but I’m fairly sure it’s a name we will get to know soon – Hindsight is a belter alright.
Other bands that I’ve seen do very well recently are also included – Sunderlands The Voyd who surely will be making a big step up soon with the huge song Get Away, tracks by Northern Revelation, The Underclass and The Rosadocs again reaffirm that Boys n Girls do like guitars, it’s just music snobbery that says they don’t. This album proves beyond doubt that the kids do want to make loud interesting noises just as they did before and given time, probably sooner than later will be back in the charts representing their friends and followers as if it had never been away.
Ryan Phillips closes the album with Happy Place. Which is pretty apt way to close an album especially after the year we have all had. In fact, Marc in these two albums has created a happy place for many of us and I can’t think of a better reason why you should purchase this album, play it and transport yourself to a happy place.
So, there you have it – is it any cop? Well, I’m sure you’re going to find out yourselves.
For me – I just can’t wait to find out what Marc has in store for his Be Here Now album.
Onward likeminded soldiers – we have a Top 40 to crack.
Brits N Pieces 2 is released on the 7th May 2021 but you can already pre-order via Rough Trade here:
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