A word of warning first. If you detest the likes of Snow Patrol and Starsailor with every fibre of your being then maybe this isn’t the best band for you to go and check out. If you feel nauseous at the merest hint of a festival sing-along, best look elsewhere. But you’d be missing out, frankly. That the Countermine singer emits something resembling anger three minutes into ‘The Smallest Fears EP’ shows that they do at least mean it. And they make a lovely noise in the process, so that’s a bonus.
You could write a who’s who of chart-bound indie-rock on their influences, but don’t hold it against them. Lead track ‘Panicked’, for instance, starts very much like the aforementioned Patrol and ‘Sailor with its ’Run’-like guitars and ’Alcoholic’-esque piano, emotion-riddled vocal work interwoven into it. ’So Quiet’ comes on a bit stronger, an actual riff forming its backbone and the repeated chant of ”Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up” forming most of the chorus, albeit in as caring a way as possible. ’You Shine’, meanwhile, manages to cross a sort of Goldrush ebb with the acoustic sound of Feeder and still end up sounding a bit folk-y, which is, in a word, nice.
Sure, your parents may not object to them. And no, perhaps they haven’t got any revolutions pencilled in for the near future. But Countermine have proven that they can write dazzling tunes, and for now that’s all you need to know.
7Thomas Blatchford's Score