Spring King – Tell Me If You Like To

This is Spring King. Are you in?

This is Spring King. Are you in?

‘Album’ of ‘the Week’

Spring King - Tell Me If You Like To

Label: Island
Released: June 10th 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

In 2016, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our ‘modern’ music scene. Everything on demand, more new acts and fresh meat than we know what to do with, an endless supply of bitesized tracks to consume or throw away. Any preference or niche concern can be catered for and brought together with a tap of a touchscreen. It’s an exciting digital party bus full of opportunity and wonder.

But amongst all this never ending train of sound, it’s easy to miss a vital ingredient. When everything moves so fast – each opinion dragged down to a black or white, amazing or awful choice, judgements made on the basis of a single track time after time – sometimes we lose the greatest joy of all. The magic of a band.

Because really, if we think the reason we fall in love with music is all about the sounds, we’re kidding ourselves. Being a fan is more than that. It’s personality, belonging, something to believe in. An indescribable connection that makes us root for the underdog, elevating strangers on a stage to surrogate mates we’ve never met, weird in-jokes and all. More than most of their peers, Spring King are that kind of band.

Like the very best of them, there’s an infectious energy that radiates from leader Tarek Musa, saturating ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ with the kind of sugar-rush lovability that only the really special ones possess. From the word go, it’s obvious. When Zane Lowe plucked them out of the relative leftfield as the first band to be played on Apple’s Beats 1 station, there was a damn good reason. Opener ‘City’ doesn’t just kick the door down, it levels the whole block. Both massive and claustrophobically intense, it’s a pocket rocket screaming with frenzied excitement. Get up, we’re here, this is happening.

From there, it’s all going off. From ‘Detroit’ through to ‘Who Are You?’, the flurry of light-speed punches come in thick and fast. Where others would overthink, Spring King are all about the immediate. To release a gigantic indie album as a debut has long since ceased to be a safe move – in fact, it could well be one of the riskiest on the table – but this is a band who know exactly what they are. To pretend anything else simply wouldn’t work. It’s that steely-eyed confidence which makes being recruited to their gang so damn alluring.

Twenty years ago, after a youthful debut full of wide-eyed pep and vigour, Supergrass began to tag themselves as ‘everyone’s second favourite band’. Spring King already have that one nailed – in fact, there’s every chance they’ll go one better. Across ten tracks there’s barely a moment – never mind a whole song – that doesn’t demand to be chanted back. ‘Demons’, ‘Rectifier’, ‘The Summer’; there are more standouts than not.

‘Tell Me If You Like To’ is a raw, exposed, sadistic nerve demanding over-stimulation. Neither brains nor brawn lead its thoughts, every move made on raw instinct. There’s no awkward first steps. Like every band worth a damn, it’s a debut statement. They’ll earn those fence sitting, guardedly positive write ups from the tired establishment who don’t quite remember what it’s all about, but they’ll catch on eventually. This is Spring King. Are you in? [sc name=”stopper” ]

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