Don’t judge a book by its cover they say, and it’s equally true to say don’t judge a band by its company. Hailing from North East England, Little Comets have just finished a successful stint touring with Catfish and The Bottlemen, yet stylistically the two could not be further apart. This is no slight on the Bottlemen who are leaders of the current cabal of indie guitar bands, but this latest offering from Little Comets has a greater degree of sophistication and intelligence delivered by a band who throw everything at their songs.
The album opens with a charming ode to becoming a new father with ‘My Boy William’, which articulates the hopes and fears of parenthood. The album then provides its first example of the strong political opinion that punctuates the band’s work to date in ‘B&B’. Stand alone it’s a lovely little earworm but the message again is thoughtfully delivered. Musically the band has developed and there are numerous examples of strong vocal harmonies and choppy guitar riffs akin to Vampire Weekend and Everything Everything, who also lend themselves to a more cerebral style and content.
Little Comets are not afraid to be candid in their portrayal of sensitive and emotional subject matter and this is evident with ‘Effetism’, which reads like an open letter to Lance Armstrong, and ‘Salt’, which is an emotive expression of the horrors of child abuse. The content, while a little draining, is wrapped up in intelligent and catchy pop riffs which make the whole album accessible for new and old fans alike.
The production on the album is incredible given the absence of a major label and accompanying budget. The album comes towards the finish with ‘The Blur, The Line And The Thickest Of Onions’ which is a beautifully sharp view on disposable insta-hit music that litters the charts and the celebrity that surrounds it. Again, the vocal delivery both in solo mode and when harmonised are stand out and one of the most pleasant aspects of this enjoyable record.
The album has the feel of a journey despite being a composition of several EP’s released in 2014, and while the end product can at times be a little difficult to differentiate tracks, given the common musical styles, this lessens with each listen.
Whether this album brings the band the wide audience and sales success that I don’t suspect they crave, time will tell, but what it has done is to create a fascinating and progressive album by a seemingly very likeable and talented bunch.
Hope Is Just A State Of Mind is released on 16th February via The Smallest Label.
James Van Praag