Monday 19 September 2016

New Music: Anteros - Ring Ring

Back in ye olde days of pop music, when the UK singles chart was genuinely exciting because it was based on what people were buying rather than what they were playing, it was possible for a relatively new indie band that had written a half decent pop song and had a few fans to get their tune in the UK Top 50 without having to either sound like everything else or have an association with a big American star. 

For example, pop saviours Saint Etienne could notch up a string of minor hit singles (17 of them between 1991 and 2003), each one sitting in the charts for around a month before diving away without people screaming 'flop'. The charts allowed space for bands to develop a longer term career without ever troubling the wider mainstream. This was because of the one-off nature of sales (where fans could have more immediate impact by buying in the first week), compared with multiple plays (a very different thing) which are responsible for this week’s UK singles Top 100 containing Mr Brightside by The Killers (a record released 12 years ago, but because of streaming, still in the charts) and Sorry by Justin Bieber which has taken up a near year long residency in the charts. All the UK charts demonstrate these days is that the public at large is incredibly conservative in its music listening habits.

I mention St Etienne because for me a current band like Anteros would have been the sort of act that would have been “doing a St Etienne” a few years ago. Their songs like Breakfast and The Beat are eminently hummable bona fide quality pop tunes, not the turgid formulaic sh*te that current chart toppers like The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Drake etc are inflicting on the masses. Anteros would have probably gone to number 34 with Breakfast and The Beat would have made the top 30 for a couple of weeks. Then they’d have released an album that might have dented the top 20 for just one week but it would have been enough to sustain them to make more records. 

Unfortunately, times have now changed (yes I'm being a grumpy old man again) and whilst the British public continues to listen to Mr Brightside over and over (a brilliant pop record, but to listen to it so many times that it’s still in the charts is a bit like having sex in the same position every day – reasonably satisfying but ultimately bringing less impact every single time) Anteros keep pushing out tunes for the few of us who care enough about pop to listen. Their latest Ring Ring, bizarrely, in terms of its instrumentation, could actually be a Saint Etienne song, capturing the casual sixties spirit of You’re In A Bad Way with some panache. So there you have it: Anteros – a band making stylish pop for those in the know. Join their club.

Their Breakfast EP is out now. Hear it all on Spotify by clicking here. Give The Killers a break, stop doing it in the missionary position and try something new. You might actually enjoy it.

Anteros - Ring Ring

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