We Start Fires

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On the day this review was written, NME has listened to this, the fourth single from Darlington’s We Start Fires, 16 times. Using our fingers and toes, we calculate that 16 multiplied by three and a half minutes equals 56. That’s enough time to eat 18 trifles, watch three episodes of The Simpsons, or listen to the first side of ‘Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds’ when the Martians start heat-raying the shit out of London. All are pursuits NME enjoys immensely, yet we can’t think of anything we’d rather do than play this dashing pop song over and over again.

See, there’s not one other single released this week that encapsulates everything that’s brilliant about fuzzy guitars, tattered old analogue synths, and backing vocals that sound like haemorrhaging peregrine falcons quite as scrumptiously as this. Stuff we especially like about it includes the way the verse makes us think of the second Kenickie album that nobody bought but we still sleep with under our pillow, or the way the drummer is blatantly having a fucking hoot. Then there’s the bridge between the verse and the chorus that simultaneously sounds like R2D2 gargling bits of broken raygun and all the great keyboard bits in Devo songs stuck together with bubble gum. And then? Then there’s the chorus.

If Elastica had been born into the era of glam rock rather than Britpop, they would have sounded like this. It’s a bit Slade, a bit Bay City Rollers, and an awful lot like those dorky Mud records it’s not cool to admit to liking. It makes us want to uppercut the sun, or headlock the moon. It’s so fucking grade-A catchy, we might make a joke here about malaria or something… or just put the fucking thing on again. Seventeen plays and counting, then.