The Rising – Olympus / I Want You (I Need You) (Detour Records)
7″ Vinyl / DL
Pre-order now. Released 4 November 2016
Ged Babey has been writing about the Rising for four years now. His first LTW review helped secure the band a deal with Detour Records. Their last single sold out, and the new one sees the band evolving from their Sixties/Mod roots.
“These songs should be blasting out of the every car-radio, on the hour, every hour…Proper Pop Music!”
The Man In the Street (Fred Perry, a bit intoxicated).
On the surface Southampton’s contribution to popular culture over the years has been pretty lamentable; Benny Hill, Craig David… but dig deeper and you’ll find some great bands and songwriters have come from the city: Paul Simmonds and Phil Odgers (The Men They Couldn’t Hang), Fleur De Lys, Delays, err..Band of Skulls..(there’s loads!) but there have always been really superb ‘local bands’ who could have been and should have been contenders nationally but kept the city rocking. I give the ones I see coverage where I can, but the band who have made the most measurable progress in recent years are this bunch of herberts.
The Rising are a genuine band of the people (real people and not just Music Snobs) and can rightly be called Southampton’s Finest in that they work hard, play hard and do their hometown proud. They play every Festival in the vicinity, pack out smaller venues and are one of Detour Records (‘serving the scooterist community -worldwide’) most popular new bands.
(Don’t confuse them with other bands, who haven’t been around as long, but have the same name by the way!)
So, the facts about this magnificent new single are;
Both songs were recorded at the world famous Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales in October 2015 by Tim Lewis (Spiritualized) and see the band experiment with more modern sounds and recording techniques, edging towards a more psychedelic sound than their previous recordings. Plus they have now added another member to the band, making them a seven piece. Emily Blackledge who has been brought in to provide backing vocals alongside drummer Matt Stanton to Tommy Overington’s unique voice and add depth to their already huge sound! All 3 vocals blend and complement each other superbly! The single will again be released on a limited edition 7″ vinyl press of 250 copies as well as download.
Both sides of the single are fantastic. Still a Lennon & Liam tinge to Tommys vocal but great, contemporary pop songs. To call them Psych or psychedelic is not quite right in my book, but they have elements of 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond in them.
Olympus has a Kinks-like gait to it initially and an echo of the Verve. It’s the rinky-dink dink-dink-dink electric piano hook which gives it a bit of a Morse code melancholy, but it’s still a catchy number with great harmonies, a mellow drop-out section and reflective lyric. Not to mention a great, squidgy keyboard solo. It is epic without being overblown. The production is widescreen and the musicianship top-notch.
The lyrics seem to be about a relationship breakdown and attempts at reconciliation; ” Won’t you come down from Olympus, I’ll meet you halfway…”. The band are all in their thirties and have families, so the lines about ‘responsibility’ and ‘seeing things through your fathers eyes’ all make sense…. and will to the fans.
The flip-side is even better. Meatier, beatier, big and bouncy and with a another great keyboard solo from Liam Dixon. Tommys’ vocal phrasing is still the bands trademark; “the Yapple of my Yai” and a lyric which is as full of positivity and yearning as it is cliches.
With this single, the Rising have transcended local band status as well as shaking off the Sixties/Britpop tag. They are sounding like a full on 2016 contemporary band.
Following singer Tommy Overingtons always-entertaining diary entries on social media, I knew that one of the few new-ish bands he fell for big-style over recent years is Tame Impala. Have they affected how the band sound I asked him?
Yeah, they deffo influenced me but I haven’t been barking orders to people and saying we should sound like them. I’ve suggested some sounds and everyone’s sort of gone with it. Liams been a huge help. He’s got a new super keyboard which sounds like it’s from another galaxy!
I Want You has been described as ‘ a bit 80’s’ sounding ?
The sound of the synths on that track I think he was referring to. To me it’s punk rock that’s been drenched in production. The first album was really dry and purposely under produced to recreate the sound of the 60’s – so we had to restrict ourselves. This time anything goes and we’re going crazy with the magic fairy dust!!!
There is a touch of Jan Hammer type synth but that horrible 80’s drum sound (which dates so much of that eras music) is NOT there thankfully.
With Detour Records followers being distinctly of the Modernist persuasion I was initially concerned that the Rising may have moved a step too far away from the beloved template of Great British guitar band from the original Mod and Revival eras, but after a few listens I’m sure the ones with open-minds and good taste will see that this is a natural progression. Mod is about the new and the modern after all.
With the budget blown on production there was none left for a video, so both YouTube clips are audio only. Listen, enjoy and snap up the vinyl sharpish if it tickles your fancy.
I love this band, who were recommended to me initially by the O’Brien brothers from Southampton’s original 1977 punk band, local legends, Stratejacket (one of their grown-up kids knew a couple of them I think) but that connection is important, (perhaps only to me…) the baton being handed down, to the next generation. Then I read Tommy’s Facebook posts about his young son, always picking the Rising CD to play in the car at weekends…. and so it carries on … the generations of small town rock’n’roll….. trying to break into an industry where money and luck and friends in the right places count for more than talent and supreme effort….
The Rising are down to earth, no bullshit geezers. Dreamers who are making their dreams reality by sheer hard work, determination and self-belief. Plus a modicum of talent and charisma of course. This is their best work yet.
Come Down from Olympus. I’ll meet y’half way…..
Another cool review on the Merc website here.
All words Ged Babey.