ALBUM REVIEW: You Had Me At Hello ‘Spirals’

With enthusiasm and impressive riffs a plenty, You Had Me At Hello's debut is a wonderful space odyssey into the unknown...

Hailing from Yorkshire, but with literal universal ambitions, You Had Me At Hello could be one of those bands that inspire tattoos and youthful devotion. Space travel and the terminology thereof get a lot of references in Spirals, with more than one sample from Mission Control; this could be music for the band to walk out to, but they leave less room for the actual songs.

Space references aside, however, there is a lot of good stuff here.  There are hints of UK metal bands from Therapy? (ask your stepdad) to Saxon (ask your uncle).  There is also a melodic hint of Sugar, which will likely pass some people by.  Where the album works best, is tracks like ‘Build The Rest Of Me’ – a battle hymn for the scuzzy corner of your local indie disco. “I’m using my lips to fight you off,” they sing and, as I always say, if you’re gonna use a double entendre – make it a big one.  It’s music that winks at teenage girls, and looks to inspire devil horns in the boys.  Both are no bad thing, dude.

YHMAH have a puppyish enthusiasm, with guitar riffs that chug along like the Trans-Pennine Express, metal blood and thunder with dry ice and strobes.  However, the momentum takes a break for the rather gentler, only acoustic track on the album – ‘Yes, You Are’. Lights down, lighters at the ready, it’s the song that will most likely get played on the radio.  Leaving aside one more sketch that closes the album, the last track is ‘No I In Team’, management cliché with added riffage.

Spirals thus packs a lot into its 43 minutes: a few tweaks and the universe could belong to them.

Kev McCready