Preston Indie rockers Beat The Bandit are seemingly rubbish at naming things. They named their band “Beat The Bandit” which sounds like a masturbation euphemism and their second EP doesn’t appear to have a name at all.
Thankfully though there progress on the music scene has been better and they have played 53 Degrees and the Mad Ferret already, having formed in the summer of 2011.
Their second EP then, starts with “Heroin.” An interesting song title, it is either about female heroes or the illegal drug and it is dubious they have much experience of the second of those.
“Heroin” is a real mix bag, a total tale of two halves. Initially the guitar is twanged sharply and cuts nicely through the air and vocally there is a surprising power and maturity. The words here build well conjuring simple but effective images “It’s just another day, the cold wind messes up my fringe and I say, how are you today?”
Where it falls down though it the crescendo in the chorus which feels strained and underdeveloped, the focal point “The fear is killing me” offers nothing particularly exciting and it the relative inexperience of the band shines through.
With its poppy feel, sharp vibe and sing along repetition “Purple Top” is a pop song that dresses up and plays guitars. It mixes the vocal delivery and twang of The Courteeners and sticks it in a blender with the simple, cheery dancey guitars of The Pigeon Detectives.
“Look at you, in your purple top, you’re looking good, you’re looking hot/ Why do we never speak a lot?” is a disarmingly simple line that mixes a million frustrated teenage emotions and spits them out perfectly in a charming three and a half minute pop songs. It feels tight, effective and does the job.
So climbing up then we reach the “7th Floor” where we are once again treated to abstract images “Don’t let them wash the sunshine away…the spark in her eyes won’t be back for a while.”
With an infuriatingly catchy and suspiciously familiar hook holding it all together we are given a furiously paced three minute pop song with in parts a punky edge. Not quite the charming bastard that “Purple Top” is but it certainly flies by.
As an EP it shows bags of potential, the more furied notes sometimes feel rushed and strained but in places they touch upon the teenage angst of their audience beautifully. At the moment they don’t have quite enough to stand head and shoulders above other Indie bands but going forward there is an Alex Turner like ability to conjure images from throwaway lines. Whether they ever manage it as perfectly as him is doubtful but them and their fans will have fun in the process.
You can hear this EP plus other Beat The Bandit tracks at: www.soundcloud.com/beatthebandit