In recent times, there’s been a whole bunch of British bands that are channeling scenes of olde. Palma Violets are doing 80’s British pub rock quite well and Temples are blowing up with Madchester written all over their tracks. Well, Worcester’s Peace are perfectly reminiscent of all the better Britpop acts, and not just in the vague one-word band name’s either. Blur, Oasis and Pulp are super involved in the sound of Peace, and for the most part, it sounds pretty great.
Unfortunately, Peace don’t get off to the greatest of starts. Opener ‘Higher than the Sun’, which shares the name of one of Primal Scream’s better songs off their best album (furthering my Britpop affair hypothesis), seems flat and uninspired. The chorus, assumedly meant to be a full on flush of colour and sound, seems to me to just mimic that to the best of it’s abilities. However, with the slaughter of that over, Peace really pick up on their next few tracks. The caterwhauling, careening ‘Follow Baby’, future Vampire Weekend single ‘Lovesick’, and the Foals-meets-Babyshambles ‘Float Forever’ are all tracks that, despite maybe rubbing shoulders with influences a bit too much, are able to stand out as strong and enthusiastic.
Things continue in the vein of pop-friendly, very British rock that, as mentioned before, is hard to separate from early Oasis or later Blur, but still highly enjoyable nonetheless. ‘Waste of Paint’, ‘Delicious’ (which features the best guitar solo on the album), and ‘Toxic’ are all tracks that infect you with the rock bug. It’s hard not to imagine that these songs will become popular favourites, ready-made stadium anthems. And don’t confuse ready-made as some sort of formulaic system either; these songs are concoctions, carefully constructed but in a way that makes the band closer with the audience. I call it the Pete Doherty effect, and it’s evoked pretty damn well on ‘In Love’.
For all the short titled songs, dripping vocals and plucky music, Peace are actually a good band. At times, they can come off as a little too commandeering of influences, and other times they can wander directionlessly on a song, but for the most part, Peace are a fucking good Britpop revival act. Fuck it, they’re a good band all round. If you’ve heard ‘Parklife’ or ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory’ a few too many times, try ‘In Love’, I guarantee you’ll love it. For those that have been soaked in Nirvana fumes for their whole lives, then ‘In Love’ will provide some welcome relief, as did the first wave of Britpop bands. And if your looking for some nice, modern powerful rock full of swooning vocals and honeyed guitars…well, Peace couldn’t be a more perfect band to fit that category. If you can ignore the fact that ‘Waste of Paint’ has nearly the same chorus as ‘She’s Electric’, and just enjoy the overwhelming presence of ‘In Love’, then you’re fucking sorted for your Monday morning pick-me-up on the way to your shitty office job. Sorting files has never been so spectacular!
Peace are doing a tour of Australia in September, and support is coming from the Brissie lads Millions, who are pretty killer live. They’re playing OAF on Saturday, 21st September, and I’m going to be there.