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THE 1975



By Charlie David Page
11th September 2013

Take in anything The 1975 touch, and it's hard not to be impressed. From the arty black-and-white photos that adorn their website to their slick self-titled debut album, their work oozes with cool. The thing is, it's not just an impression - the band has real talent; despite being relatively new on the music scene, these boys have already played Glastonbury and SXSW, and on the brink of kicking off a U.S. tour.

The first thing that sets The 1975 apart is the distinctive accent of their Manchester-based lead singer, Matt Healy. The second is that these guys sure know how to play a guitar - and write a song with the instrument front and centre. The third thing to mention is that there's plenty of controversy entwined in the music - this is sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll set to a modern-day background.

THE 1975 - SEX

This is an album practically bursting with potential singles. 'The City' is a brilliantly complex rock-pop track, combining traditional drums and guitar with a high-energy electronic synth backing. There's the smooth and thoroughly addictive sounds of 'Chocolate' (who could resist lyrics like, "We go where nobody knows, with guns hidden under our petticoats"?). Perhaps you'd prefer the entirely addictive 'Girls', cleverly simple with its eternally optimistic pop and over-driven hormones. Then there's the thoroughly naughty 'Sex' with incendiary electric guitar and enough provocative lyrics to make your grandmother blush (though I personally preferred the EP version to the album rendition).

On the flipside, there's also some really stunning instrumental tracks on the album. 'The 1975' (the self-titled song on the self-titled album) acts as an introductory compendium to what's in store. 'An Encounter' is a gentle, soaring buffer between two rougher tracks - as is the aptly titled 12th track, '12'.

Their work oozes with cool.

The guys also try to step outside the box with a few tracks - with varying success. The track 'Talk!', with its offbeat and marginally reggae feel, will inevitably win over even the most cynical listener. On the other hand, 'M.O.N.E.Y.' incorporates a range of vocal and instrument distortion - which sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't.

With such a diverse offering, the album as a whole can feel a little incongruous at times. It's not always easy transitioning from a rock-pop track into something a little more experimental. Admittedly, this is what the band were going for; they've attributed their sound to their "lack of identity" musically... for better or for worse.

As far as debut albums go, 'The 1975' is really something exceptional. There's a diversity to their refreshing brand of indie-pop, which means most people will find something that appeals to them, and yet there's a genuine raw talent behind everything on offer. It should be a pleasure watching where the future takes The 1975 from here.

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BAND: The 1975
MEMBERS: Matthew Healy - Vocals/guitar
Adam Hann - Guitar
George Daniel - Drums
Ross Macdonald - Bass
FROM: Manchester, Uk
SOUND: Indie Rock
FACEBOOK: the1975
TWITTER: @the1975
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