By Beat Route 62
Promising name I thought. Very Jack Kerouac, but with cunning regional twist with the old M62 and that. But maybe that was just my imagination running wild (I found out later that I was right about the M62 part) I was hoping for a musical answer to a beat poet but unfortunately this demo fell short of conjuring up the open roads.
First track 'Alright' does not hit me as an exciting debut. It's upbeat indie by numbers and nothing that I haven't heard before. The lead singer's voice is not bad but it's just too formulaic. Each chord change is predictable and the lyrics aren't much better - despite having an interesting bass-line. The same can be said for track 2, 'Extraordinary Things'- the token melancholy ballad just does not do a young band justice - leave them to the oldies. There's nothing 'extraordinary' about it at all and it repeats the lazy faults of Track 1 especially in the saccharine lyrics. 'Falling' is unfortunately the lowlight of the demo despite technically being the most accomplished. It begins promisingly with a riff hinting on Led Zep influences but then turns into the Riverboat Song rehashed. Each part of it could belong to a mid-90s indie band and the guitar solo is pure imitation Oasis. I get the feeling that Ocean Colour Scene might pull up any moment on their Vespas and ask for their song back.
Overall it's somewhere between Teenage Fanclub and Liverpudlian indie underachievers 'The Real People' which is no bad thing as the latter were the real godfathers of Britpop. Like 'The Real People' these guys are technically talented and they can probably play the Beatles back catalogue but they just don't stretch themselves. Beat Route 62 need to open their minds and try some new sounds and structures, stop sounding like they're always singing about their girlfriends and look to the future of music. We all love 60's nostalgia but Britpop was the time for derivative indie. On the positive side it's well produced and hey, I've heard that they dress well!