Review Summary: A sensational and vibrant indie record with heart, energy and innocence.Finally.
A mathy indie
record that you can actually dance to
which isn't shit
and has a soul
Wait a second, though; these guys aren't Foals
. Or Vampire Weekend
. What about Franz Ferdinand
? The long list of near-misses has hardly paused for thought in the last six or seven years - there's probably an entire damn section devoted to it over at nme.com
- and it is dominated
by Next Big Things, all hyped as the bringers of salvation to punchy indie-rock. A shame, then, that literally none of them were. A shame, also, that none of them were Newcastle-based Little Comets; a break-up with Columbia records - the band says that they 'didn't sound enough like Ke$ha' - stalled this album's release considerably, so the thousands of fans the band reached with impromptu five-minute gigs in British lecture theatres have been waiting quite some time for this debut record. And so have the rest of the world. They just didn't know it.
In Search of Elusive Little Comets
is the culmination and genuine perfection of every snappy guitar and jumping beat that bands like Vampire Weekend and Foals propose, and the canonisation of every impulsive and intelligent lyric; it stands where the lines of those artists all meet, but is elevated onto a wholly superior plane by its mastery of more than just one trade. Take 'Isles', for instance, a lyrically sombre reflection on a stagnant British society, but a song presented enthusiastically, with an anthemic chorus and an irresistible beat. Put more simply, Little Comets have the rare talent required to invoke thought and movement at the same time. It's even difficult not to tap your feet to 'Her Black Eyes' in spite of its evident subject matter - and the song's own delicate desperation is the only thing that really restrains you.
The genius of ...Elusive Little Comets
is the way in which it blends these different effects rather than segregating them; almost every song here is capable of making the mix for a semi-hipster party (with the definite exception of 'Intelligent Animals'). And though the stacatto yelps and shouts of vocalist Robert Coles vary so as to make him sound like at least five different people, he is suited just as well to the rousing African beats of opener 'Adultery' as he is to his sparse falsetto on the closing track. And whatever the aesthetic, ...Elusive Little Comets
is a passionate experience; this is not a record teeming with vacuous synths or empty declarations of vague aspiration; its songs are stories, its melodies are affecting and its intentions are beautiful. It is neither grandiose nor subtle, taking its cues from the same sonic inventories as their influences and relying on their songwriting to make the difference. It does.
It is not an exaggeration to suggest that this is the most vital and visceral collection of songs you will likely hear in a long time. In the realm of extroverted indie-rock, albums this compelling are uncommon to say the least. Little Comets fuse energy with heart and complex layers with the simplest hooks; they are a truly fantastic band, and In Search of Elusive Little Comets
is an inspired debut record which by rights will see them propelled to the same heights as the biggest mainstream indie bands of the last decade. They were, in the end, all trying to sound like Little Comets.