Zip It Up – Fierce Panda

I have to admit that this little 16th birthday celebratory EP Zip It Up from Fierce Panda (home of the soon to be released cd from the wonderful Goldheart Assembly) has rather got me hooked – seven excellent tracks from bands new to me. Not the usual indie bands either, more a sense of rather exciting déjà vu with a twist of today and a side order of youth. There are more than a few smatterings of Smiths and other 80’s type references, not that these aren’t very welcome

The rather brilliant Brilliant Mind have lots of that northern grit, The Heartbreaks got me from the get go what with all the hand claps and sing a long chorus and Sketches manage to combine close harmonies and a bit of welcome punch in an unexpected combo

All tracks are to be heartily recommended though and provide a refreshing snapshot of emerging bands – there’s a collective urgency and purpose that comes from bands finding their feet, pushing for the big break. It’s only a shame that this hard to define set of qualities often gets lost later – ah the appeal of the new, the as-yet –to–be successful, the freshness of music created under adversity ….I wonder of U2 can remember that far back?

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