02/09/2011 Leave a comment
I’m sure that the residents could bring to mind a 1,001 things, but if you had asked me before today I would have struggled to list anything great to have come out of Bromsgrove. Whilst it may draw the attention of some, as attractions go the National Telephone Kiosk Collection doesn’t turn me on.
It’s a good job then that Turn Off The Sun are about to release their new EP, Armour Plated Tongue.
What difference will it make? Well, the five piece hail from Bromsgrove and Rubery and should, with a prevailing wind, put both places on the map. A skilful mix of memorable melody, weapons-grade alternative rock guitar, subtle synth lines and a dynamic rhythm section, the four songs within are genuine contenders for breakthrough.
From the moody piano line of first track, Intro, discussing how the human race has “made a mess of love,” there is real and raw passion on display. Whilst it may not seem an obvious reference point for a contemporary alternative band, the vocal lines that follow in Let The Right One in, Cardiac, and Embers bring to mind Ryan Adams at his most honest and emotional. The repeated refrain of “Did you get my love?” in the latter track could easily have been inspired by Adams’ earlier body of work.
Nevertheless, let’s not get sidetracked. The squally yet melodic guitar lines that colour each song are more akin to Foals, The Cribs or perhaps on occasion Johnny Marr’s earlier incarnations. In other words, well worth listening to. The insistent bass lines and frenetic drumming provide a solid and essential foundation that help build the raw, heart-on-sleeve whole and make it so captivating across it’s 13 minutes. Adding the finishing touch are washes and waves of synth that demonstrate that Turn Off The Sun are constantly in service to their songs, adding as they do essential meat to the bones, rather than overwhelming any given track.
Regardless of their beginnings or their geography, then, Turn Off The Sun are ones to watch, acknowledged by the patronage of Tom Robinson, amongst others, on his BBC 6 Music show. Here’s hoping for a full length album in the not too distant future. For now, the quarter of an hour that is Armour Plated Tongue will have to keep our appetites abated. Something that is seems very well equipped to do.
‘Armour Plated Tongue’ is released next week. The band are launching it with a gig on 7th September at The Rainbow on Digbeth High Street in Birmingham. They’ll be playing with Turbogeist and Raven Vandelle. For more information, you can visit them at their Facebook page.