Album Review: The 1975 – The 1975

A Blast From The Past.

They might be called The 1975 but the quartet from Manchester channel a very 80’s vibe on their highly-anticipated eponymous debut album.

Playing under a number of different names before settling on The 1975 in January 2012, the band have been on an incredible journey, touring extensively whilst promoting four EPs (‘Facedown’, ‘Sex’, ‘Music for Cars’ and ‘IV’) in the build-up to what would become a UK #1 debut record.

Of course, their EP big hitters all feature here, ‘The City’ up first after the eponymous track ‘The 1975’, both heavily layered with ambient electro riffs, singer and lyricist Matthew Healy leading the way to the city to find love for a character who over 15 more tracks becomes embroiled in sex, drugs and more sex.

Of course, the anarchic youths revelling in drugs, money, petty crimes and “fuckin’ the whole town” lived long and prospered in the 70s with the likes of The Sex Pistols and The Clash and that similar lothario’s night out concept rocks out in ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Sex’, from getting high in the car to trying to seduce girls with boyfriends, not that they’re truly bothered in succeeding – “And I’m not trying to stop you love, but if we’re going to do anything we might as well just fuck.”

What is so intriguing about The 1975 is their surprisingly eclectic mix of musical genres, leaping from 70’s punk and 90’s rock to 80’s funk and pop, the latter  arguably being their strongest hand. ‘Heart Out’s clever array of synths and grooves make it a contender for best track, but that accolade is awarded to ‘Girls’, brimming with glossy guitar riffs (think Daft Punk‘s ‘Get Lucky‘) and old school synths and beats. It’s something you’d expect to hear a teenage Michael Jackson dominate the charts with.

Although, once the tempo is turned down and the ambient interludes begin, it’s more of a stumbling block for The 1975 than inspired retro-transitions and at times, Healy can be incomprehensible amidst all the decades of beats and riffs that grace their debut album.

It will be interesting what the future holds for The 1975, especially for their sophomore album. There’s still a way to go until the quartet find themselves musically, but in the meantime they’ll be fully enjoying their deserved moment in the spotlight; a welcome addition to the British music scene.

4 out of 5 Stars.

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