Spring King, a four-piece garage rock group, hailing from Manchester, have quite the feather in their collective caps. In June of last year Zane Lowe decided that they would be the first band played on Apple Music’s new radio service, Beats 1. It was an honor, and a daunting surprise, taking a little known band and thrusting them, for a brief moment, onto the wider music radar. With their debut LP, Tell Me If You Like To, Spring King takes advantage of their unexpected rise in profile to deliver an album that makes for a fast-paced listen.
Tell Me If You Like To’s production is surprisingly urbane and refined, with various mixes of guitar, thumping drums and a few organ/synthesizer flourishes. ‘City’ opens the album with a memorable, crunchy minor chord riff – all while singing a question relevant to Spring King’s new listens: “Who am I? / What does it matter?”. The swagger and bravado come through and carry on as the album progresses.
The Clash plays as a heavy influence on tracks such as ‘Who Are You?’ and ‘It’s So Dark.’ Catchy, melodic refrains, riffs, group vocal shout-out’s and even a random saxophone solo (‘Who Are You?’) find their way into the arrangements. ‘Demon’ is a particular highlight, somehow merging the sounds of The Clash and Ty Segall into one of the best tracks on the LP. Pounding drums, reverbed guitars, synthesizers, a touch of acoustic guitar, and layered vocals fill the soundscape to create this cool hybrid of garage rock, power pop, with a pinch of glam. ‘Rectifier’ goes for a similar approach, but it doesn’t quite stick the landing like ‘Demon.’ It’s almost a shame that ‘Demon’ didn’t close the LP, as the tracks that follow, while solid, just lack that extra ‘umph’ to put it over.
Light, tight and fast enough to get the party going, Tell Me If You Like To contains enough memorable, high-energy riffs to make it an early summer favorite.
Tell Me If You Like To is out now on Island Records.