Thursday, 21 August 2008

Road to V

Apologies that it's a Thursday 'Unsung' this week, but I am (unsurprisingly) running a little bit behind schedule post-V and all that...

And given V (plus a lack of time to pick anything else), the obvious bands to look at are the annual "Road to V" winners, who opened the 4music stage on each day.

If you don't know, "Road to V" is a competition for Unsung bands - 14 are originally selected, and eventually the judges pick just 2. Simple. The Young Knives won it back in 2005, so there's some proof that it can work.

Matt Trakker first of all then, who was the first band I heard at V2008. Neither band I stood and watched (in heinsight I should have thought ahead to write this post - ho-hum), but I have recognised a few songs from just listening to his myspace - which is a good sign. I actually would say that their myspace is better than what I heard live. "Untamed" is how I'd describe it live - very harsh and brash. You always expect it to a degree - otherwise producers would be redundant - but I think it was fairly marked. Still, the music is definitely of a high quality, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Secondly, meet The Rebs. When I heard them, I described them as "Arctic Monkey wannabes". Listening to their myspace, I think I can partially stand-by that description - but it was a bit harsh. There's huge similarities in the music - Lady Jane the first I'm listening to on the tintaweb; and I think Happy Face the one that made me say it whilst backstage. It lacks Alex Turner's South Yorkshire twang, but the guitar-heavy sound and harsh qualities of lead singer Russ are made in the same mould. But it's definitely different. Maybe a bit more 'classic' with 'older' influences (yes, I'm explaining myself pathetically as ever - try Poison Eyes though, see what I mean, there's something in there). After the first song in their set, I'll be honest, I wasn't impressed. But by the time they finished on Sunday afternoon, I didn't have anything to wish against. And listening to a bit more, I'm more impressed. We often say that songs are "growers" - this could be a case where the band itself grows on you.

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