False Advertising – False Advertising
I remember the day grunge died. It wasn’t when Kurt decided to give himself an extreme short back and sides. It wasn’t even when nu-metal hit these shores and grabbed the hearts and minds of the UK’s disaffected youth. No, it was when Kerrang! decided The Prodigy should feature on the front cover, thus opening the floodgate of bands for whom the guitar was a mere afterthought.
But a lot can change in 20-odd years and for you lucky lot it’s a case of waiting all this time then two coming along at once, almost like distortion-engined buses. Hot on the heels of Kagoule‘s fuzzy fun palace of a début last month comes the first record from Manchester scuzzers False Advertising and for them, grunge is most definitely alive and kicking.
It wouldn’t be deemed a success if a band brought back an old genre simply by copying what had gone before and False Advertising‘s no-fixed-front-person dynamic deals with this straight off the bat. By switching Jen Hingley and Chris Warr between band-leader and drummer quite frequently, this record has a sense of unpredictability and innovation running throughout, and opener ‘Breaker’ is a dirty-riffed beast, exploding all over the place with distorted catchiness and bombastically charged-up dual vocals.
The band remain unrelenting with ‘Another Mention’ and its power-dirge and considering they’ve only been gigging since April this year, the pair (plus bassist Josh Sellers) obviously have enough industry experience to know what works. This is not just a hazy nostalgia trip though, this is fresh. There’s a unique stripped-down Hole knocking around inside tracks like ‘Wasted Away’ while ‘Dozer’ is Zero-era Pumpkins on a turbo treadmill.
‘I Don’t Know’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Pixies record as it bursts full of harmonies that you’ll be humming all day, then proving they’re not one trick ponies, the trio bang out ‘All Of The Above’ which tickles Britpop’s classic years with a slowed down groove.
There’s a top-quality production throughout this début too which really brings out the bass rumble on ‘No Good’ complimenting Warr’s pained vocals, while the simplicity of ‘Only Way’ is benefited by hearing each musical part collide in a beautifully trashy chorus.
As first efforts go, this is an excellent début, chock full of vigour and talent. With quality retro-tinged bands like False Advertising and the aforementioned Kagoule knocking around, I don’t think anyone would really begrudge this particular genre making a long overdue comeback.
Grunge is dead. Long live grunge.False Advertising - False Advertising,