By Michael Ainsley Band
This is the second release by Michael Ainsley and the first with a full band backing him up, recruiting band members from Wakefields Retarded Fish, as well as from The Runaround Kids and Piskie Sits.
Title track and album opener Cyclone is an anthemic stadium sized beast, recalling the White Stripes blues and bluster, only with a West Yorkshire accent and shouty chorus and refrain, building and building to epic proportions, I envisage this as a soon to be live favourite rousing the kids to hand claps, flag waving and punching the air at the shear joy of it all.
New single Long Distance (out 18/02/2012) is a pop punk triumph, showing not only that the band sound brilliant and tighter than a snare skin, but a songwriting craft that's not been heard for quite some time, recalling The Libertines at their first album peak, when the songs sound new and fresh and done for the love of the craft. As on Parasite, a song with more hooks than a pirate convention, up there with local heroes The Cribs at their snotty best.
This collection of eight songs is a class act and a showcase for a songwriter hitting the ground running and sprinting for the finish, coming in at a very respectable thirty minutes, first single Happy to Stay, is a breezy pop effort of lost love carried on a wave of foot tapping, clap along dance floor filling joy of the moment.
Slower numbers like Wanted to Know and Depend show a band with more than just punk chops, the latter being a piano led ballad, a torch song to the empty night, the former a boozy, lock in with the locals sing along of young love.
Nice and Slow closes the album, another slow burner building to yet another big chorus, shout along greatness, that could easily be dismissed as a Cribs lite pastiche, but that's missing the point, the point that music is a unifying experience, these on the terraces anthems come thick and fast and delivered with such aplomb that it can only be applauded. A great effort, showing that music in our region is raising not only the bar, but the roof as well.
Cyclone is released on 18/03/2013.