It’s fair to say that Spring King have friends in high places, what with the eternally cool Zane Lowe and Rocket Man himself, Elton John being amongst their champions. Not too bad for a band that, until recently, had to record their songs with the drumkit located in a bathroom. This debut sees them retain the edges that have gained them a loyal legion of fans yet at times the roughness of the band seems too much.
Opening track The City is one packed with attitude, a feeling that reverberates throughout the album. The slighty blurred but rich sound masks suprisingly deep lyrics that are spat out by lead singer Tarek Musa, and shows exactly how far a little professional production can take a song. Who Are You? sees the uneasiness sung about reflected in the sound; the slightly accelerating riff is paired with the unsurety of Musa’s vocals as he calls to be “something that I can say is true”, easily making the track the highlight of the album. It’s So Dark is a prime example of overusing production with the echoes of the vocals sometimes clouding the lyrics and, while the song is poppy enough, the repetitiveness of the songs gets a bit too much after three minutes.
Demons shows exactly why its earned its title as fan favourite with Peter Darlington’s guitar slicing its way between the chorus and the second verse to perfection and the beat of the drum puncturing every other word. Rectifier and The Summer are the two most accessible songs on the album, as proven by their constant playing on Radio 1. Both brilliantly poppy and with the inspiration of Beach Boys immediately obvious, they mark themselves out as songs that will happily plague you at festivals throughout the summer. Rectifier is the better of the two, with its heavier melody played ferociously and with the confidence of a band that have made it.
Title track Tell Me If You Like To seems to be a caricature of the Sex Pistols with its faux aggression encapsulated in the typical screams and drawls that come to mind when thinking of the punk scene, although it is strangely likeable. However, it does highlight the fact that the band haven’t really found their identity yet, with the feeling of uneasy described in the lyrics, occasionally seeping through into the album. Nonetheless, with tracks such as Who Are You? and Demons on a debut album, it’s clear that it shouldn’t be long until the band make their mark with the confidence it deserves.
For fans of: Palma Violets, Public Access TV, Superfood
Words by Clara Duffy
‘Tell Me If You Like To’ by Spring King is out now on Island Records.