Secret Meeting score: 83
by Philip Moss
Finally – the secret is out! Manchester’s best new band in a decade have surfaced with an LP that’s worthy of the hype.
At just over ten minutes, opener, Simpatico People is a telling introduction – marrying, in equal parts, the three piece’s love for motorik drums, swirling electronics and chiming Manchester guitars – evoking most blatantly New Order and Billy Duffy’s iconic She Sells Sanctuary riff. Bring It Up is more conventional in length – but no less exciting and certainly no less experimental – and like the rest of the LP, it’s an intelligent, quirky piece of pop that buzzes with energy aplenty.
Incidental Music arrives almost two years to the day since the release of their debut double A side single, and both cuts – Inspiration and Nothing Is – feature here. The former is a track that will have Ian Curtis ‘dance, dance dancing’ in his grave and is as close as any contemporary act has got to channelling Talking Heads, while the latter swells from humble beginnings and feels somewhat more plaintive and ponderous.
At times, the self produced LP does suffer from its home recorded/lo-fi lack feel, but equally that is part of the charm. And while Want does lack a certain dynamism, it is no doubt the most immediate number here with Joseph E’s hollered choral refrain – ‘Want – I don’t, don’t want no more! Want – I don’t want anymore, anymore!’
It’s rare in modern times that groups are given the necessary time to develop, and Manchester label, Melodic, must be given credit for this. But, knowing what a special group they had on their hands, probably made the decision easier – no matter how much they must have been desperate for the world to hear this record. Either way, one thing is for sure: Incidental Music is anything but incidental.