The Neat – 'In Youth Is Pleasure'
As much as the 'alternative' music press will try and argue against the fact, we have a lot to thank Kaiser Chiefs for. Not only did they record one of the single greatest pure-pop albums of the decade in 2005's Employment, put out a string of unbeatable singles and maintained one of the best live experiences in mainstream pop music but now they've set up their own record label and given us The Neat.
Underpinned by some excellent machine gun drumming, 'In Youth Is Pleasure' sounds like the work of a fully formed band and is amazingly fresh sounding for a debut single. There's a debt to Mark E Smith of The Fall in the part-spoken/part-sung style but The Neat are able to get away with this by coming across completely unpretentiously. Although not a frantic song there's an energy running throughout and a very individual mash of styles. If these guys are as good live as the single implies then it's entirely possible that through their shows they will create a cult following.
With most art-pop at the moment drowning itself in synthesisers and retrosim The Neat are a band that really stand out. With the right push and some more singles of this strength they will really have what it takes to carve out a decent size niche for themselves. With the idiosyncrasy of Young Knives or The Long Blondes, if we were currently in 2006 then 'In Youth Is Pleasure' would have a decent shot at being chart-bound. That's not going to happen in 2010, but The Neat could end up being a band that really matter.
'In Youth Is Pleasure' is due out on April 26th on the aforementioned Chewing Gum Records.