In the dim and distant days when music blogs were a force to be reckoned with and every fledgling band wanted their debut demo up on a tastemaker site, the idea of the ‘buzz act’ was commonplace. These days however, the buzz, if that is still the right term, seems to sit on TikTok, but the concept remains the same; if you can get people talking about you, greater things and opportunities may await.
The last band I remember there being a fair amount of buzz-chat on music blogs prior to the band releasing anything was Black Country, New Road (I joined in on the act in this post here), but more recently I’ve noticed a small amount of revival for the blog-buzz.
First, with what seems like an almost too heavy load of expectation, is The Dinner Party, a six piece that have yet to release any material but are already scheduled to join The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, London this summer. Second is today’s new band, albeit the internet tongue wagging going on for this lot is a bit more low-key.
They’re called Medicine Cabinet and they’re from Scotland.
Like The Dinner Party they have, until very recently, not released any music, but earlier this month their debut single The Signs dropped on streaming services. A mix of danceable pop and bum-wiggling retro indie The Signs pays tribute to bands such as Blondie and Altered Images, reminding us all that guitar bands don’t just have to be shouty angry lads wanting to be the next Idles / Shame / Yard Act / Fontaines DC and that it’s ok to be a bit bubblegum and fun.
I caught the group at this year’s Great Escape festival and it struck me that their approach is as much visual as the music. There’s no normcore down-styling here. Medicine Cabinet seize your eyes and take me back to a place when I first set eyes on bands like Manic Street Preachers and White Stripes – bands that wanted to stand out with the way they looked as much as the music. Medicine Cabinet are glamourous, cool and look like they’d be a lot of fun to go shopping with. They have the haircuts, the cheekbones, the shades, the clothes.
And there’s the music as well. Live it all comes together. Sometimes model and now lead singer Anna Acquroff is a tiny ball of energy on stage and their songs already seem to be fairly well formed. They're not a band who are getting noticed just because of their style.
Now with a single out, what they need is a hit. Over to you TikTok perhaps?
Medicine Cabinet play the Windmill, Brixton on 6th July 2022.
Medicine Cabinet - The Signs