Starting the first song on an EP or album acappella is a ballsy unconventional move for a rock band. Those opening words “Don’t go down that road” on Tabloid TV’s First Winter act almost as a potential warning. However there is no case for alarm as it’s an entirely appropriate intro for the Vampire Weekend style jaunty rock that follows. It hops and skips lightheartedly, and First Winter is an ear worm of a tune.
Tabloid TV succeed in grabbing your attention by the first track on the ‘Mixed Messages’ EP; that’s half the battle won, but they are not content to just rest on their laurels. Always Hold On has more spring than a slinky, with singer Mark Young’s vocal melodies providing subtle hooks that reel you in. The songs‘s tempo gathers pace, breaks and starts all over again in what is the standout song on the EP.
This is indie rock to make you dance and the subtly titled Let’s Dance lays out its intentions from the first few seconds. Check/que shuffles fervently with its repetitious ringing guitars, mixes it up with hand claps and “sha-la-la’s” during the chorus. It’s not exactly rocket science or breaking the mould, but it doesn’t need to be. This is the sound of a band finding their feet, and in time they may find their own unique sound. The only thing that matters for now, is that it sounds great.
The only damp squib is Runaways, which is far too conventional and safe, especially when placed all that has gone before. It threatens to drag them back into the pack after having done so much to sprint away from every other hopeful. But it’s merely a blip. For a band in the formative stages of their existence, Tabloid TV show an assured ear for a catchy tune.