“Landfill indie”- a term coined quite wonderfully by The Word magazine- finally seemed to be on the way out last year, albeit slowly. For every Scouting For Girls celebrating the homecoming of Britain’s Olympic team there was a Fratellis album in sharp free fall, whilst for every new Razorlight release there was a Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong canning their own release plans. Jubilation at any of this was somewhat offset however by the fact that in its place no one seems to really know what to do other than turn to the 80s (of all decades) for inspiration; and so within the last twelve months we’ve seen the NME jump from Crystal Castles to Late Of The Pier and now White Lies in desperate attempts at scene cultivation. Meanwhile the BBC struggled to think of any British guitar bands of note to tip in their Sounds of 2009 list, which begs the question: is there still room for guitar bands in the late noughties? Landfill indie may be the dearth of creativity but there’s certainly some argument that many of the proceeding acts have truly replaced it with anything much more boundary exploring.
Where Grammatics fit in is by not fitting in at all; the Leeds group are the antithesis to every Courteneers or View on the planet, and yet they also stand a mile away from the increasing torrent of electro-throwback type bands that are coming out of the woodwork. The band’s opening trio of singles- Shadow Committee, D.I.L.E.M.M.A and The Vague Archive (all included on this debut) hinted at a group who weren’t afraid to fall on their sword; and this LP proves that like Leeds-peers and last year’s bright prospect Wild Beasts, the four-piece are willing to put themselves up on a pedestal for target practice thanks to the sheer theatricality and pomposity of their work. Unlike Wild Beasts though, there’s not a cheeked tongue in sight; Grammatics the message is clear: this is what we sound like, you either like us or you don’t.