Track Review: The Bedroom Hour- No Keys

TRACK REVIEW:

 

 

 

The Bedroom Hour

 

 No Keys

 

9.6/10.0

No Keys is available exclusively to those who donate to the band’s Pledge Music page (you can pre-order Hinterland here):

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/tbhp1

The album Hinterland will be released on July 14th. Its debut single Ocean can be accessed via:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ojOVUxiBg

________________________________________________________________

Ahead of the release of their debut album Hinterland, the endeavouring boys of The Bedroom Hour unveil No Keys: an authoritative and fascinating Indie object of virtu. No pareil conviction mixes with compelling storytelling- wrapped inside a soul-stirring and potent composition: it is an absorbing listen.

_____________________________________________________________________

THIS will not be the first time that I have featured this London five-piece.

Last year I was fortunate enough to review their emblematic tracks Slow Motion Cinema (in May) and Submarine (in April): on each occasion I was compelled and fascinated by the music on offer. The former is a dreamy and effecting tale: one where the loss of a sweetheart is documented; pain and yearning come through to the surface- there are touches of The Cure, Muse and The Smiths. Submarine, meanwhile, looked at the heat of emotions: tribulations and trials of love are investigated and covered- the band inject elements of Radiohead and Elbow into the pot. Each time I reviewed The Bedroom Hour, I came away deeply impressed: stunned by their confidence and musical amelioration, the quintet seemed to have no limits- capable of summoning up a huge amount of emotion and force over the space of a couple of tracks. It is no shock that their E.P. Themes (released last year) was greeted with such approval and glee: positive feedback and love is still coming in- a year after it was unveiled. Our Uxbridge-based wonders consist:

Stuart Drummond– Lead Vocals
Rob Payne– Guitars and Backing Vocals
Mark Dudley– Keyboard
Andy Copper – Bass
Lewis Cosham – Drums

Described by BBC Introducing’s Gary Crowley as ‘epic, big sounding, widescreen pop-rock’, the bedroom hour are a unique blend of psychedelic soaring guitars, ethereal synths, haunting melodies and original emotive lyrics.”

Themes was released to a delighted fanfare: critics were impressed- not only by the ambition and authority that seeped through in every track- by the range and conviction throughout. Topics such as terminated love and dreams were examined: common issues were focused upon and documented- yet the band did it in such an original and bold way, that they breathed a new lease of life into the subjects. Since the arrival (and digestion) of their debut E.P., the quintet have been busy indeed: touring throughout the U.K., the boys have been spreading their legacy and motifs throughout Britain. You may notice that our featured act are from London: a great deal of my recent features have revolved around London-based musicians. Over the next few weeks I will be broadening my horizons- moving my thoughts to international acts as well as those based beyond the capital- but for now, a pressing thought comes to mind: the nature of the London band market. Acts such as Crystal Seagulls and Los and the Deadlines have come under my radar; a few days ago I featured Rap/Hip Hop artist Kate Tempest: the range and variation of music in London is deeply impressed. A resurgence has taken place recently: last year was a fairly spotty and mixed year for London musicians- this year something incredible has happened. The Bedroom Hour are one of the most original and captivating bands the capital offers up: they will be big future heroes- and will be scoring and dominating festivals in years to come. The five-pice are incredibly down-to-earth and honest: in love with the business of making music, a clear sense of passion and determination is displayed- which reflects in their music. On Facebook, the quintet list their interests as: “Writing, Recording, Mixing, Festivals, Live Music, Unsigned bands, Rock’n’Roll, a few glasses of rum!” Amongst the rum-filled writing sessions, the lads have been preparing the release of their debut album, Hinterland. I shall talk more about their L.P. anon, but shall mention one further point: their overall sound.

The Bedroom Hour are influenced by the likes of Doves, Elbow, Death Cab For Cutie, Pink Floyd, Joy Division, and Simple Minds: touches and flavours of each act can be detected within their music- as well as elements of Radiohead, Muse and The Smiths. The Uxbridge clan seamlessly fuse ’80s U.K. Indie with modern-day Indie; classic ’70s Psychedelia and U.S. Alternative Rock are all present and correct- a huge range of sounds and genres seep their way into the Bedroom Hour palette. If you are inclined towards any of these bands (or genres) then you will love the quintet: there is a great understanding of past masters as well as of-the-moment anthemics- yet the guys have a deep sense of uniqueness and focus. Each of their influences are deployed subtly: there are no obvious overtones of other acts in their music- the abiding sensation is of an ambitious quintet determined to project their own voice and present their own style- this will be surmounted and cemented in their debut L.P.

Hinterland is the next release from The Bedroom Hour (No Keys does not feature on it): their debut full-length album, it will see the band’s striking style expanded and represented fully- and show how they have mature and evolve over the last year. The subject of music-based crowd-funding (donating to a band/act so they can finance their music) is a divisive subject: some are all for it (as it allows the fans to become involved with the production of the music); others are against and aghast (feeling it a dishonest and easy way to raise capital). I am in the former’s camp: many musicians are capable of working and financing their own music- yet choose to involve the listener more directly; giving them the chance to receive updates and news with regards to the associated project. The Bedroom Hour are launching two separate crowd-funding pages: the first has surpassed its target (the band have obtained 233% of their required funds). On their Pledge Music page, the group assess their goals, thus:

Here’s where you come in. With your pledge, we can raise the money to get these songs into your lives. We wanted to give you the chance to get your hands on the album first and offer you a load of exclusive stuff that isn’t available to everyone else. We’ll also be doing updates from the studio, including videos and blogs, from us, the band. We love the personal relationship we have with our fans and think that by doing pledge it brings us all closer…We want to give you these songs, help us to make it happen.”

The advantage of using crowd-funding is the financial gain. The artists receive a fairer financial percentage of the monies: enabling them to fund the recording production and cover the costs of touring – essential elements in promoting the music. The Bedroom Hour would not have been able to record Hinterland, were it not for the support of Pledge Music donate-ees: a worthy cause, that helps support one of the most promising bands in our midst. ‘Part two’ will be launched soon, but for now, the boys are preparing for the launch of the album: initial buzz suggests that it will be stronger even than Themes– a cornucopia of relatable fables and tales, from a band with no shortage of quality. When the album is released (on July 14th), the public will get to witness what the five-piece have dreamt up. I have been looking at an exclusive track (it is only available if you donate on their Pledge Music site): it provides a tantalising indication as to what Hinterland will consist.

A sense of triumph and rabble-rousing greets No Keys: its beginnings are awash with woozy electronics (synths.) and spirited percussion- putting me in mind of Modern Guilt-era Beck (Profanity Prayers perhaps). There is a light breeziness that runs through the opening coda: no suppressed rage, the intro. is upbeat and purposeful. Indie shades come through early on: early-career Elbow and Joy Division can be detected. You could imagine Ian Curtis getting up to sing this song: that sense of elliptical-cum-shady lingers in the electronic waves and drum-beat staccato- you cannot help but feel energised and pumped-up. The initial moments are no slouch either: there is a sense of fastidiousness and meticulous in the notes; everything has been honed and considered- no loose edges are on display. When Drummond steps up to the microphone, his voice has a delicate croon: there is restraint and measure to the tones, which add conviction to the words: “Someone you love’s/been taken from/the world in the cruellest way.” The Bedroom Hour are inspired by the likes of Joy Division, Elbow and Simple Minds: you can hear a little of each within the vocalisations. That dusky and authoritative style Ian Curtis perfected and cemented is there; ashes of Guy Garvey’s power and humanity percolates: Jim Kerr’s soothing and emotive pronunciations are evident (as well as some earnest tenderness). You would have to be a huge fan of each of these singers to detect anything glaring or obvious: Drummond’s voice is an urgent (yet seductive) beast that has no progeny- a singular sound. The band beautifully punctuate lyrics: after the initial refrain, a dizzying and cinematic twirl is unveiled: widescreen synthesisers and angular percussion commingle with tight and focused bass lines- a dazzling array of components are employed in the mix. After some embryonic haunt and disquiet, lyrical themes become less eulogistic: Drummond’s voice rises and powers through the chorus; emphatic conviction and potency come through- beautifully backed and supported by a swelling and compendious composition. Our frontman asks (in the next verse) whether you (the song’s focus) questions God: whether existential and philosophical musings and desires play on their mind- each year more and more young people have their lives taken away, it is attested. There are deep questions and issues posed throughout No Keys: kept compelling and light-hearted by Drummond’s vocal (and the band’s effusive performance). Drummond keeps energy and fascination high with innate sensibility: certain words are elongated; others are emphasised and stoutly punctuated- it means that each line and utterances hits as hard as possible. Whether referring to a recent tragedy or the mire of a disquisition, I am uncertain: it seems that heartache is rife and emotions have flared- our frontman comes across as empathetic and straight-to-the-point all at once. Before I conclude, I shall share out kudos and commendations. No Keys has a great mix of ’80s Indie/Electro and of-the-moment North of England: that parabond of Joy Division, Soft Cell, Elbow and Doves come through. The boys have their influences, yet do not for one second tread closely to anyone: lesser bands would copycat or replicate; here there is the faintest whiff of others. The guitar work is energised and progressive: it moves the story, as well as flexes its musical muscles- Payne wields his axe perfectly and never succumbs to histrionics; instead each note and line is perfectly considered. The bass work from Cooper keeps everything in check: the backbone of No Keys, it stays mobile and supportive- and adds colour and vibrancy to the track. The percussion drives and pervades: a strong and focused performance from Cosham not only augments the vocal, but almost steals the show. Keys and synthesised notes are multicoloured and romanticized: you swoon and sway when you hear them; coruscating and fascinating, they stick in your mind (thanks to Dudley)- and could easily fit in an album such as Closer or Once Upon a Time. Drummond’s vocal sticks in my mind: emotive and imploring, they manage to make everything sound fascinating. During the chorus (towards the end of the track) he holds notes: eliciting a huge amount of force, it is almost quasi-operatic in nature. Even though subjects deal with death, reflection and break-up, nothing is delivered with a heaviness: passionate heart and swelling soul mingle wonderfully. I have often found some vocalists too narrow or limited: Drummond has an impressive range that adds so much life and flair to No Keys– and I am sure it is even more potent in a live setting. No Keys is a go-between and conduit: a track that fuses their past and present; hints at what direction they are headed in- and what Hinterland could contain. If No Keys is a fair representation (as to the L.P.’s themes and sensations) then you are in for a treat: the track is taut yet packs in so much punch and nuance, that it demands repeated spins. If you do donate to the Pledge Music campaign (I would advise it- just so you can hear this song) or not, then I would implore this: get hold of the forthcoming album. The band is at the height of their powers; in no short supply of quality tunes and for-the-masses evocativeness- expertly demonstrated within No Keys.

The Bedroom Hour have put Ocean (the first single to be taken from Hinterland) on Youtube: affording the public the chance to get a sense as to what the album will sound like. I would advise that you give the song a listen (as well as get a hold of No Keys) as the London boys have been tirelessly working on their album: slaving days to ensure that the final product is as stunning and memorable as possible. Crowd-funding raises awareness and much-needed financial assistance: whether you are ambivalent or cold on this issue (without such sites) many musicians would not be able to release music. I will be sure to review Hinterland closer to its release date- it will be a fascinating and compelling disc. No Keys is no slouch or latchkey child: it is a stirring and emphatic slice of song- one that builds on the band’s past sounds and motifs, but updates their projection with new-found inspiration. A great deal of the music industry needs extirpation: too many fly-by-nights and short-lived idols exist still- and take up a lot of real estate. Bands and acts that are willing to put in the hard graft: stick around for as long as possible and offer something new- they are the ones that we should be focusing on (and are the antithesis of the modern Pop scene). The Bedroom Hour offer no grandiloquence: their sounds are pure and unfettered; honest and direct- songs written for the people. Once Hinterland drops, the public will get to witness the realisation of the band’s ambitions and hard work. Few new acts offer staying-power and much fascination (and any sense of noblesse oblige): ensure that you investigate the Uxbridge quintet. As the rest of this year ticks along the boys are going to be very busy indeed. I am sure that their hard work and ambition will pay off: festivals and high-profile London locales should attune their eyes Bedroom-wise. After a long and hard-working year…

I hope they make it there.


____________________________________________________________________________________

Follow The Bedroom Hour:

 Official:

http://www.thebedroomhour.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/thebedroomhour

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/thebedroomhour

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/thebedroomhour

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/thebedroomhour?feature=watch

ReverbNation:

http://www.reverbnation.com/thebedroomhour

Last F.M.:

http://www.last.fm/music/the+bedroom+hour

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/thebedroomhour#

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/the-bedroom-hour/id639762435

____________________________________________________________________________________

The Bedroom Hour’s music can be accessed at:

http://www.thebedroomhour.com/#!music/cdeb

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Tour dates available via:

http://www.thebedroomhour.com/ 

June:

12th: Cafe Drummond, Edingburgh

13th: Bannermans, Edinburgh

July:

5th: The Prince Albert, Brighton

12th: Night and Day Cafe, Manchester

19th: Southlands Live, West Drayton

26th: Derrstock Festival, Newton, Nottinghamshire

 

August:

2nd: Blackfest, The Blacksmith Arms, Harworth

30th: Wigan Live Festival, Wigan

September:

6th: The Hop, Wakefield

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s