What is it about 'i' bands? One little letter. One low level vowel. Outsiders to West Yorkshire might be forgiven for thinking that the A to Z listing for Leeds bands has only one alphabetic section. Namely 'i'. Certainly we'd find riches enough. iForward Russia! set critical hearts a flutter in 2006 while iLiKETRAiNS proved themselves the real deal with their Progress:Reform mini-album. In Leeds then, lower case means raised expectations. Now we have another 'i band' to take note of. And barely one self-released record into their career, I'd back i concur.
Here's a nice rarity – a band whose songs have a third act. This is a crafty bit of screenwriting that translates just as effectively to the world of music. In other words, their tracks have an unexpected extra part - a false ending followed by a bonus segment, often instrumental and quite beautiful. The early work of Manchester's iconic The Chameleons was similarly effective, and they swiftly became a personal favourite. On the evidence of this writing, i concur seem happy to harness the power of their third acts. It's their prestige.
And aren't early EP's great fun? Those formative ideas. The opportunity to impress. I think it is fair to say i concur are still finding their style. Taking a stab, I'd say a mid-point indie, somewhere between shoegaze and Britpop, (Ref: Verve's A
Northern Soul) with a sprinkling of Americana. Only the first of their four tracks has anything of a demo feel to it. Demons and Slaves is no bad song but only at the very end will it truly ignite. Oblige is a far better example of i concur's guile. The opening reminds me strongly of Afghan Whigs. So much so that when Tim Hann coos "My love….", I expect him to continue "…..it ties me up in chains". EVERY time.
He never does.
I'm never disappointed.
I almost cheer during Decimal Places, it's so good. TOO good for any
debut. Decimal Places just gets everything right, especially its glistening
guitar work which betrays the bands love of The National and maybe even a hint
of Shack? The EP ends with the rightfully climactic Exits are Blockades.
Their subtle side is in good company then, but so too their intense side which
is not a million miles away from….I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness.
We can't get away from that little letter i!
So where next for i concur? Onwards and upwards, I should imagine. I hope that the frustration evidenced in their lyrics is no indication of the group's current mindset, because on the strength of this release they should be signed.
Deft tunes. Intelligent lyrics. If anyone is starting to think they would be happy to hear a full album, me myself and i concur.