Brighton's Soft Parade are the latest young tykes to arrive on this supposedly new 'underground' scene, doing something different without the definitive aim of radio airplay.
Upon hearing the first 3.30mins of A side Silent To The Dark you'd strongly beg to differ. For all we are given is a wonderfully poppy, indie anthem not too dissimilar to typical offerings from Teenage Fanclub or more accessible Sparklehorse, but at this break in the song, we are delivered a full on psychadelic/experimental work out, which is in no hurry to finish. In comes a very floaty, dreamy drum machine with some hauntingly reverbed piano. Infact for the next six minutes Soft Parade literally 'go off on one'. Some seriously escapist sounds with no hint of succumbing. The main hooked lyric of the tune 'When i needed someone to talk to/you were the only one around'are reintroduced to refrain, and the whole glorious 9 minutes are up.
With that neatly finished 'Something's Got To Give' will find it hard pushed to top its predecessor. Bizarrely we are back in typical indie mode. Focused, and no discernible chorus, works to The Soft Parade's advantage for if it followed up the first 3.30 mins of the previous track, we would have a stereotypical guitar band. However, we are saved, and the song is a gentle, melodic tune. Obviously nowhere near as good as Track 1, but in a completely different mould.
Soft Parade have got some trinkets of formidable sounds, and if they can focus on these more than the cliche, we may just have a very special band indeed.
NME described this as the most 'flabbergasting' debut since The Strokes. Not quite, but it's getting there...
8Jon Lawrence's Score