Likely to be amongst 2013’s hyped newcomers, get a taste of Peace today.
Mike Diver 2012-09-13
To most people, September marks the three-quarter point of any year: still plenty of potential in the forthcoming months. But in the music industry, minds turn to the New Year as early as the summer festival season; to the bands that will be leading the charge as fresh tides of hype lap against critical ears and slosh over radio waves.
Based on this four-track taster of the Birmingham band’s potential, you’d best add Peace to your list of 2013’s most-likely-to, now. When he covered them in his New Band of the Day column for the Guardian in January 2012, Paul Lester wrote that this quartet were likely to “be considered the future of indie”, acknowledging parallels with Foals and Wu Lyf. And that was before this major-label-funded release surfaced, presenting as it does four quite different sides to the band.
The problem facing Peace now is: what direction to take with them into 2013? EP opener Ocean’s Eye is a two-minute swagger of rambunctious blues rock that immediately recalls The Doors, albeit with a rather more lucid frontman reporting for duty in the form of the excellently named Harrison Koisser. There’s some Primal Scream at play in the song’s structure, too – hardly that much of a surprise given the Scots also pilfered from so much American rock of the late-60s and early-70s.
Bloodshake earns the outfit those Foals comparisons – its twitchy guitars trace delicate motifs, while purposeful percussion maintains the song’s course and backing vocals lend additional textural depth. California Daze is the EP’s weak link. A woozy number, initially conjuring images of long summer days spent ambling aimlessly around sun-bleached neighbourhoods, it ultimately loses its west coast gloss and shuffles awkwardly towards Shed Seven territory with rote rhymes and prosaic dynamics.
The 10-minute 1998 ends this set on a triumphant high, though. A sort of Kraut-kissed Pink Floyd-goes-LCD Soundsystem affair giving way to some Comets on Fire-recalling comedown psychedelia, it’s a fairly sky-scraping finale. And it’s a perplexing final puzzle piece, confirming this band’s should-be-contenders status without actually nailing down a signature sound.