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In which a young Worcester band revive Britpop and make it sound brand new.
It must be hell being in a new young band these days.
Every note you play, every nuance you make, every texture you take, is going to get put under the grill by ageing music critics of my generation who hog the music media.
Everything you do is going to get weighed down by comparison and you are going to get constantly told how unoriginal you are- getting compared to bands who also stole their ideas and changed them into something of their own- it’s a process as old as pop culture itself.
Emerging from Worcester, (home of the legendary Marrs bar venue), Peace are a four piece band who in thrall to the classic record collection with a mixture of sixties, Manc baggy, Britpop, shoe gazing and even touches of Nirvana in there.
What they do, like everyone else is rearrange all this into a music that has the enthralling and naïve rush of youth to it and is intoxicated by the possibilities of love and life and has no interest in engaging the parent generation who review the records.
The truth is no band in rock history has ever been totally original and is just a version of its treasured record collection- ask any critic fave band with their latest version of krautrock that they get lauded for.
Peace obviously are steeped in the classics- there are moments of Stone Roses, Beach Boys, a bit of grunge, a touch of Britpop, Beatles with psychedelic twists and turns and a sniff the Manc baggy era mash up as well as the intensity of Wu Lyf, a whiff of young modern bands like Two Door Cinema Club but somehow they manage to arrive at something that is purely their own and their debut album is a masterful work of classic youthful British guitar pop that could have come out in any of the classic eras but also sounds like it’s of the now.
With the intoxicating self belief of youth and a knack for capturing the fierce light of the dying flame of rock n roll, Peace have created a teenage soundtrack for young people who still want to believe in guitar music and don’t care what the parent culture think and are not seeking for permission to create.
Some people are going mad at them sounding a bit like Blur (they don’t) but Blur were the ultimate magpies themselves- with every song being a steal from someone else but, for some reason, they never got critiqued for this.
Also why is it ok for the hipster bands to rip off other hipster American bands but when young English bands copy their own rich seam they get slated for it?
Somehow in these cynical over analyzed times the band have managed to capture a youthful yearning and innocence and that belief that melody can change the world and there is something very teenage in their energy and their raw take on the early nineties, post Manc/Britpop world that they have updated.
The band, built around the Koisser brothers and with the excellent Douglas Castle on guitar, have the knack for a great chorus like on Scumbag- which has a whiff of Nirvana to its proceedings, Drain which cascades like an E tinged Manc band from the late eighties and is built around a great guitar line, Float Forever, which even copies the riff from their own great song, personal favourite and album ending California Daze and jams in a bit of the Beatles In My Life but still manages to sound good or the fab Higher than the Sun (love the innocent way they take a Primal Scream title without any thought of the old people jumping up and down in anger at their audacious nick).
Follow Baby has a twist of My Bloody Valentine shoegaze to it, with a baggy shuffle and that wah guitar not been spotted on a record for decades. For peace, it’s about the songs and they master that honey dripping melody thing and that powerful intoxication of youth when the world feels like it’s there for the taking.
There are two fates for Peace- one is a flash of popularity and then a sudden collapse when they get found out like a Viva Brother or a defying the consensuses with their genuinely heartfelt songs – at the moment it feels like the latter or as they sing somewhat truthfully on Sugerstone, ‘It seems as though your future is the past’.
They will never get any prizes for being original but somehow they capture the feeling and a mood of eternal youth club rock n roll, a place of innocence and setting out on the journey of life and that’s the something that conversely gives them a freshness and originality of their own.