Southenders study pop’s greats and serve up a treat
Much like how Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo wrote himself an Encyclopedia Of Pop, Switches frontscholar Matt Bishop has diligently studied, dissected and rebuilt the pop song as if he were an inventor obsessively constructing a mobile phone from scratch.
The Bee-Gees, Supergrass, T-Rex, Queen, Blur, Bowie – Switches don’t so much consider them to be influences as they are ingredients, to the extent where listening to ‘Heart Tuned To DEAD’ is like rolling a piece of Goosnargh duck breast around on your tongue, trying to uncover which spices the chef used to season it. There are some particularly heady flavours here to be sure, some blended well, others not.
Priapic highlight ‘Loving It’ is Maximo Park simmering away on a reduced bpm with some decidedly Weezer-esque vocal garnish, while ‘Message From Yuz’ takes half of Elastica’s riff from ‘Connection’ and blends it into a terrine of Supergrass cooing and salty handclaps. The ear-pricking deviancy of ‘Step Kids In Love’ (which is about exactly that) sounds like a nightmare David Bowie had once after some bad lobster.
Not everything is farm-fresh, however. The workmanlike reworking of T-Rex in ‘Give Up The Ghost’ is heavy on the repetition and light on the lightness of touch found on other songs, while closer ‘Testify’ shouldn’t have been on the menu.
That aside, Switches can be confident that they are one of the finest purveyors of lip-smacking indie-pop delicacies in the land. Why, we’re already looking forward to the next course.