I've been getting to grips with Leeds indie-rockers Sketches latest single, but first I have to quickly slag off U2, for reasons which will then become clear.
For years I've wanted U2 to be my favourite band, so every album that they bring out I think this is it, this is going to be the one. Yet every time I'm practically reduced to tears by the naffness. The ingredients are all there but they somehow manage to churn out the most pathetic nonsense. So I started looking for a band who were making music like how U2 sounded in my head. My search lead me to Athlete (in particular 'Beyond the Neighbourhood') and a few others but in some ways even they didn't satisfy. Then while doing my usual rounds of asking around to see whose hot at the moment I stumble upon Sketches.
Their latest single is called 'Slow Start' and in a freak collision of coincidence is caked in the sound I had so desperately yearned for U2 to develop. The tone is set at the start of the track by a delayed guitar part that acts as a prologue, setting the harmony and style accompanied by some atmospheric wailing that Bono would be proud of. Then we're treated to the proceedings stepping up a gear to the tune of the sort of drumming that makes everyone want to give up their day job and become a drummer. As the track kicks in properly my hands involuntarily shoot in the air and chills are sent down my spine. It's euphoric rock at its best, not least because before it gets too self-indulgent and arty we're hit with the anthemic, simple as-can-be shout along chorus. Now it would be easy to see all this song-writing cleverness without really giving credit to the underlying groove, but that just wouldn't be fair because the rhythm section have honed this track to perfection and have provided a completely unshakeable foundation for everything else to be built upon.
It would be very hard to overstate exactly how good this single is or in fact how good Sketches are as a band. This single is creative, beautiful, well crafted, catchy and upbeat. Its available on iTunes and really shouldn't be overlooked, especially since its less than the price of a pint. At very least give it a listen on MySpace. Now. You'll see why when you hear it.