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There are certain music descriptors that make me wince when they’re applied to bands. Not because they’re particularly bad terms of reference, more like the bands associated with them generally tend to be disappointing and not fitting of the description.
'Indie pop' for example, in my mind conjures up images of well crafted, hook laden, catchy, alternative guitar music, but often seems to be bland, overproduced mush that doesn’t bear listening to for more than a minute.
‘Bangers’ implies that the tune in question is an absolute monster, that will get you up off your seat and dancing, but always seems to be associated with some really over the top mess.
So when I say that On Video make 'indie pop bangers', what I mean is that they make great, guitar laden anthems that get in your head and make you want to move. Just making sure that we’re clear!
The band have just released their first EP ‘Clap Trap’, or rather the EP is now complete having had all 4 of the tracks on it put out across 2019. To avoid any of the indie pop issues cited above, they describe their music as ‘garage influenced guitar pop with an emphasis on hype and brevity’.
Singer/guitarist Hass and bassist George met in their home town of Burgess Hill and teamed up with Guitarist Neil and drummer Yuli when the four of them started living in East London. The band cite their influences as Cate Le Bon, Parquet Courts, Jonathan Richmond and, err, Randy Newman?
Their first hook laden gem Ghee came out in March of this year, featuring Charles Bukowski in the opening verse and on its artwork. It’s an impressive start, although next tracks Past Tense and Adversary surpass it in the catchiness stakes. Both tunes have massive choruses, move along at breakneck speed and make you want to put them on repeat. Adversary also has a great video depicting a bride and groom punching each other’s lights out, with the vicar refereeing.
Clap Trap, the last track to be released to complete the EP came out on Friday and it’s another little beauty, more understated than its predecessors, but you kind of need that to give balance.
The band are at that stage when you can still catch them playing tiny venues (often for free) and they are vigorously gigging all over the place. Given how catchy and commercially viable their sound is you’d expect them to start playing to bigger audiences in the near future though. Hopefully that won’t compromise their musical approach, which at the moment sits just about the right side of indie.