There are two types of indie breakthrough: one that bursts onto the scene, and one that slowly rumbles into view. The Sherlocks are the latter, having gradually built upon their dedicated Northern fanbase, graduating to playing shows up and down the country, and eventually opening for Kings of Leon. Their homecoming gig at the Leadmill has gone into legendary status; at the time they were an unsigned band. Live For The Moment is indie-rock on a massive scale.
“Make four men feel like fifty” said a producer to The Sherlocks, presumably. This album sounds enormous. That just four people are responsible for the instrumentation is amazing. This is the loudest indie rock album we’ve heard in a long time.
That will keep some and lose others. Indie rock takes itself pretty seriously these days. The grit is gone from under it’s finger nails, with pretty analogue synths and orderly staccato riffs proving the order of the day. Live For The Moment is a return to a time when indie rock was a little less self-aware, and a lot more fun.
The Crooks & Davidsons (the band is two sets of brothers) aren’t re-writing the playbook; they just know the best bits. They stick to familiar themes that always serve rock music well: ‘Chasing Shadows’ revisits that familiar Friday night refrain (flirting and getting rebuffed whilst shit-faced) whilst ‘Blue’ plays on the perennial fear of failure to fulfil potential.
That isn’t to say there’s a lack of variety. The band betray their fondness for classic rock on the Beatleseque ‘Turn the Clock’ and on ‘Motions’ we get something approaching country. It makes you wonder what the Great American Songbook would have sounded like if it was conceived near Barnsley.
Live For The Moment makes for a refreshing change of pace. It’s nice to hear rock music played unironically. Where indie bands increasingly feel the pressure to stylise their sound, this is raw and loud. The band may be guilty of courting the Courteeners sound too readily, but the pummelling drums and smoky baritone of frontman Kiaran gives the album it’s distinction.
This is music written by and for teenagers. That’s not a bad thing, although it may somewhat limit the appeal of Live For The Moment. There’s no denying when the band are firing on all cylinders, as on the anthemic opener ‘Will You Be There?’, they are unstoppable.
To the legions of A-level students who recently received their results, spilling out into the night this weekend to celebrate and commiserate, this album should be fresh in their minds. This is exactly the sort of high-energy music that can spark a lifelong love of rock music. Some listeners will find the pace relentless, but Live For The Moment might just end up soundtracking a generation.