As the raw electric guitar intro to the title track of this latest offering by The Sunshine Underground strikes up, your ears involuntarily prick up, and your eyes widen a little.
By the time the drum beat kicks in, your feet are tapping along to this delightful opening gambit. This second album by the Leeds based indie rockers has been a long time coming, but the first track signals a triumphant return.
“On your hands and your knees tonight, well what are you waiting for?,” is the message from singer/guitarist Craig Wellington. If you were to respond to that poser, the answer is simple: the next song.
The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint either; a cleverly constructed tapestry of up-beat foot stompers, fast-paced sing-alongs, and mellow ballads.
Particular highlights are the excellent ‘We’ve Always Been Your Friends’, ‘Change Your Mind’, and ‘One By One’.
But the fun doesn’t end there. The drawn out drum beat intro to ‘Warning Sign’ takes you by the scruff of the neck and drags you on a tantalising journey through a world of brilliant guitar work.
The most disappointing thing about this album is nothing to do with the quality of the music within, but that not enough people will get to hear it.
In an age where tepid lyrics and dull beats are combined with computer generated sound effects and a plethora of sampled clips, it seems a shame that a band such as The Sunshine Underground would fall by the wayside. But such is the style of music that now appeals to the masses, often bands who do create their own music from scratch in a studio, and whose lyrics do have some relevance and meaning in life are often overlooked.
This album though is a rare splash of success for ‘real’ music among a sea of repetitive and overplayed popular music these days. Even Wellington’s voice is a stunning component of this excellent creation. Often these days, singers rely on quirky accents or edgy rawness to convey their identity. But Wellington’s is pure. The video below shows just him performing a spine-tingling acoustic rendition of ‘We’ve Always Been Your Friends’.
Every time you listen to this album, it’s a different riff that captures your imagination, a different lyric that buries itself in your mind for the next few hours.
It really is a masterpiece, and quite simply, if, as the title suggests, nobody is coming to save me, then I don’t mind as long as I’m listening to this album.
Verdict: The best thing I’ve heard this year to date. Brilliant. 9/10.