I think I’m a bit old school when it comes to evaluating artists and their music. For example as great as a band may sound on record until I see them pull off a killer live show then there is still an asterisk over them in my mind. In plain terms a good producer can make a band sound better than they actually are, I know that right at the top level this can be done for live shows as well but generally speaking when a band walks onto a stage in a live environment there’s no hiding place. It’s sink or swim, so when I see that a band can rock a stage I always make a note of who they are because to me they’ve obviously got something about them.
What I have just described is exactly what happened with the Superficials. It was a few months ago now (Can’t remember how many exactly) that I saw them support The Rainband in Birmingham and although I had never heard of them before I made sure that I remembered the name. They put on a really good, professional performance and were definitely one of the best bands on the bill that night so I have been keeping an eye on them ever since. As a result when I got an email offering me the chance to review the bands current EP there was no way that I was going to say no.
Superficials are Mr T aka Martyn Terry (Vocals) Trevor Flowers (Guitar) Pete Spoz (Bass, backing vocals) and dB aka Ian Coombs – Lewis. (Drums) The band are based in South Birmingham and list their main influences as Stone Roses, Queens Of The Stone Age and Kasabian. This record is a follow up to the band’s debut album Surface and previous EP Beyond Belief.
For once I’m going to cut to the chase Literally Makes No Sense is a brilliant record. Each song on the EP brings something to the table and it flows really well together as a continuous project. It’s just really high quality from start to finish. Opening track ‘Hitherto Eyes’ gives a heavy nod to Kasabian and is absolutely packed with rock n roll swagger. The vocal in particular carries that Tom Meighan/Liam Gallagher ‘I’m going to take on the world’ attitude. The guitar solo rips through a haze of distortion as the track gets the EP off to a brilliant start.
‘Seize The Day’ is more of a straight indie track and has the makings of a brilliant single. The main drum beat is really strong, the chorus and central melody are really catchy and have the potential to get stuck in your head. It’s got loads of replay value and just has that unquantifiable feel good factor, it probably my favourite track on the record. The pace drops down a couple of notches for ‘Selfish Gene’ a track which has serious echoes of The Twang. Another band from Birmingham who are sadly so massively underrated its untrue. This doesn’t have the same grit as the opening two tracks but the light melody along with a guitar solo which screeches and soars, make this another standout track.
The final song ‘M.I.Y’ is another which is low on grit but high on brilliant indie rock melody. I mentioned The Rainband earlier and this is the sort of track that they could have recorded, and I mean that as the highest form of praise as they are a band that I really rate. The lyrics including the refrain of ‘It’s getting better’ coupled with the melody and tone of the guitar give the song a really nice feel. One of those where after listening you just feel like everything will be alright. My only slight criticism is that I think that it’s a little bit too long, I think it meanders around a bit too much but other than that it’s a really good track to finish on.
I have listened to Literally Makes No Sense probably 8 or 9 times now and I still can’t really find fault with it, and I’m not bored of it either. It still sounds as good now as when I first pressed play. As I said in the previous paragraph the only very slight negative on the whole record is that the last track is maybe a little bit too long but I’m seriously knit picking there. Other than that this record is pretty flawless and I can’t give much higher praise than that. If you get the chance to see these guys take it and while you’re there grab a copy of this record you will not be disappointed.