By Joe Deandrea
Buzz bands are a funny thing in the industry. The thought that something could spark so much talk and attention, only to have it burn out months later, is both saddening and intriguing.
Typically, the flame dies due to the band’s own doing: their (usually, debut) record simply didn’t live up to the masses’ expectations. Although the musicians here shouldn’t be the ones at fault, the fact of the matter is that when you generate an appeal that is spread across genres, across fan bases, across countries, then you owe it to the public (and yourselves) to keep the hype-train moving. If not, that skyrocketing career is as good as dead, and nothing is more disappointing than seeing failure in, from a fan’s perspective, an act that they believed so much in.
Luckily, there are some exceptions to this situation, and The 1975 are rewriting the book on what it takes to reach superstardom.
Hailing from Manchester, England, the indie-pop quartet were faced with the daunting task of not only breaking into the mainstream of their home city, but also into the United States as well. Four extended plays, a few Top 40-charting UK singles, and a US deal with Interscope Records later, the band unleashed their self-titled debut album, and its excellence was coupled with a sigh of relief from across the globe.
The aforementioned extended plays (EPs) were released over the course of a year in 2012 with each gaining more recognition than the last. The atmospheric instrumentals linked with haunting vocals from frontman Matthew Healy were enough to catch anyone’s attention, but now with The 1975’s proper full-length album, they’re no longer catching attention – they’re straight up grabbing it.
Compared to The 1975’s previous material, the 16-track record is much more upbeat in nature, with an emphasis on pop hooks and infectious melodies that are unforgettable. Songs such as “Talk!” and “Robbers” focus mostly on booming guitar riffs as well as Healy’s distinguished vocals, while album stand-out “Heart Out” and the synth-filled “Girls,” along with singles “Sex” and “Chocolate,” showcase exactly why The 1975 are destined to hit the top of the charts. Laden with sugar coated choruses and pristine production, they’re some of the most easily accessible and catchiest tracks that’ll exist all year.
However, The 1975 is far from just one giant party; a somber element exists in the context of the record, and it comes to the surface on songs like “Menswear” and album closer “Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You.” Both tracks bring the tempo down a notch and provide a unique ambient aspect to the collection, but it doesn’t take away from the overall urgency that is embedded within each note.
Additionally, three instrumentals act effortlessly as segues from beginning to end, bridging tracks together and making everything flow with ease, and ultimately, it helps round out the record and further proves just how special it really is.
The 1975 made a statement with their debut record, disproving any doubts that some may have had about whether or not they could live up to their enormous hype. With The 1975, it’s clear that the band didn’t just keep their spark going — they turned it into a wildfire, and it’s only going to grow from here.