It goes without saying that the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh have both contributed largely to the canon of great Scottish music, both having produced several bands over the years who achieved worldwide success. Even smaller areas have had bands who have had a significant impact in recent years with long haired Kilmarnock rockers, Biffy Clyro enjoying mainstream success with their last two albums reaching the Top 10. Falkirk has yet to produce a band that can measure up to Dunfermline's Big Country; Dundee's The View or East Kilbride's Jesus and Mary Chain. The last blip on the radar here was Arab Strap's 1996 single The First Big Weekend which was lauded by Radio 1's Steve Lamacq.
Nevertheless it looks like times are set to change with the emergence of No Need For Idols, a band formed out of 5 school friends.They've worked solidly for the last few years building up a fanbase and recording original material, culminating in the release of their eponymous debut EP released today on iTunes (Fri, Oct 21).
Opening track What's Become Of Me? opens with a bassline similar to a distant stampede of elephants and what follows is the aural equivalent of being trampled by said elephants. The chorus is written specifically for the volume level to be abused on whatever device you listen to it on.
These boys are not your average indie rockers - because they aren't an indie band. They go for the jugular with massive riffs, howling vocals and drumming not unlike the sounds of war. Walk Away, a staple of NNFI's live shows also appears here and the tempo does not relent for a second. Held together with an almost tribal drumbeat, the song is catchy, muscular and performed with a great collaborative flair.
For All I've Done is the point where the tempo drops slightly but the intensity is not compromised. The refrain is anthemic and the verses are dripping with ghostly harmonies. This is all composed around a cinematic guitar solo that kicks in at the halfway mark.
It's easy to spot the influence of Foo Fighters on the closing track, Truth, which is delivered with a post-punk edge. The circling riff-age on this track will certainly have listeners holding an air guitar of their own and banging their heads. It sounds as if it should be played alongside footage of a riot, or an epic battle in a film. And with the clever title of Idle To Idol, topping the planned album, it gives us a taster of future good things to come.
In an era where insipid and vacuous pop seems to be dominating the charts, it's heartening to hear rock music being played, and being played right. Expect big things from this group in the future who look certain to help put Falkirk firmly on the musical map.
Just google the band name for options of purchase.
You can visit iTunes directly if your computer has it available (this old wreck don't and I ain't downloading it!) where the tasters are longer. The EP is also cut into 4 single tracks if you prefer just to buy one!
Of course I'm happy enough with anyone having a simple listen at the tasters, (No Need To Purchase!) as my fanciful notions of what fame and fortune may bring my son to luxuriate me with haven't quite left the box of chocolates mark. Oh, and what with a sought after recent local rag interview released next week, and the lads having to turn gigs down, methinks NorseGod's band has the upper edge of getting in the limer-light (spelling intentional) before his older brother's does. God, that'd be a bugger and a beauty at the same time!