Barnsley based Relay carry off an accomplished and familiar sound. "Different to anything else around at the moment" says a quote from the accompanying biog, written by someone who clearly hasn't listened to The Rain Band, The Music, The Cooper Temple Clause, The Verve, Mansun, Primal Scream and countless others that have mixed the dancier / funkier side of rock with Indie.
It's solid stuff and the only grate is the nasal and Gallagher-esque vocal approach, where all vowels resonate - eyyeeyee stiiiyleee. The 7 tracks are often well up in the 5 minute category, which pushes the patience level. It's due to a baggy desire to populate every song with John Squire guitar runs, which although impressive, seem to date rather than enhance.
Relay are at their strongest as a whole with the subtle "What You Always Had" and the guitar-wibbler's wet dream "4 AM". Everything else contains nuggets of excellence spliced with post-Madchester Indie. "Still" is a prime example, opening with a stonker riff that gives way to rather turgid simpleton Indie "drop the needle, chase the sound..." etc.
Relay are clearly proficient at what they do, but it's such a well worn path that it may take a slight change of direction to truly reach fresh ears.
Formed in Leeds in 2005 by Su Sutton (vocals) and Stan Howells (guitar), Insect Guide released debut album 6ft in Love in November 2007 to widespread acclaim. The album was followed in January 2008 by a limited EP of remixes by Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3/Spectrum).